Residents Express Discontent, ET RealEstate

December 25, 2023
3 mins read
delhi residents miffed at mandatory geo tagging of properties

NEW DELHI: The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has made geotagging of properties mandatory. It said this was meant to gather real-time information about taxable properties in its jurisdiction. It has asked people to have the geotagging done before January 31 next year if they wanted to avail of a 10% rebate on property tax. The step has left property owners fuming. They claimed that the civic body did not carry out any preparations prior to announcing the implementation of the measure.

Residents in various colonies said that MCD hasn’t been able to convince them about the reason for geotagging and that civic officials have been unsure about queries raised by property owners at meetings the civic body is organising. “At a time when MCD is still receiving complaints about online modules for filing property tax, asking residents to feed additional information on the latitude and longitude of properties in the same system is impractical. MCD earlier attempted to have GIS mapping of properties done but aborted the project midway,” said Sanjay Rana, member of Greater Kailash I RWA.

Sangita Thukral of Chittaranjan Park Blocks M&P RWA added, “The civic officials have no answers to our questions about the requirements of the exercise. They said they would have to check with the department. There was no clarity on how group housing societies and DDA flats will carry out the process.”

An MCD official said that the geotagging aimed at providing a location-wise identification to individual properties. “The process is as simple as booking a cab after downloading an app and typing in some information,” the official said. “For properties that have the Unique Property Identification Code (UPIC), just a few steps are required.”

MCD officials claimed that around 200 workshops had been organised to explain the process of geotagging and 30,000 properties had already been geotagged too. “At the workshops, we listened to problems about filling in the details faced by residents and RWAs,” said one official. “These were studied and we realised that in some cases, the software hadn’t been updated and in other cases, people were trying to feed information from unregistered numbers. Our staff have tried to help them. They have also worked on the glitches. It is unfair of them to claim that they are unaware of the scheme.”BS Vohra of East Delhi RWAs Joint Front said that unlike south Delhi, east and northeast Delhi had numerous unauthorised regularised colonies. “People in such areas are generally not too educated and they are apprehensive about filling in wrong information. If MCD actually wants to bring them into the tax net, it has to make an extra effort to guide these citizens,” said Vohra.


Overall, the residents also wondered about the decision not to give the tax rebate to those who did not geotag their properties before January 31, 2024. “The rebate on advance tax is given under the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act. So telling citizens that they could be deprived of the annual rebate seems unfair,” noted Atul Goyal, president, United Residents’ Joint Action, in a letter to lieutenant governor VK Saxena. “It seems MCD doesn’t want to widen its property tax network because threatening and depriving residents of their benefits will dissuade them from paying tax on time. Also, MCD’s server is not functioning most of the time, so it needs intervention to streamline the process. Otherwise, the whole initiative will go down the drain.”

Municipal officials claimed that the whole exercise would be to the residents’ benefit. One of them said, “Based on the records, we will access or calculate the requirement for sanitation or other civic services required at each place.”

Another official said, “We will launch a series of videos in two days and hold meetings with 7,000 RWAs next month in which we will also share with them the benefits of the Sahbhagita scheme. Besides helping people to fill in information, we will also verify the latitude and longitude details submitted by the property owners.”

Rana complained that having already reduced the rebate on advance payment of tax from 15% to 10%, MCD now wanted to end the rebate if geotagging wasn’t complied with. “Instead of giving incentives, it is threatening to end rebates and forcing people to carry out the exercise on their own. There are senior citizens who are not tech savvy, what about them?” he asked.

MCD officials, however, said they would require the help of residents and regular taxpayers to identify non taxpayers. “In a lane with 20 houses, if only five pop-ups (geotagged houses) are shown, it automatically means the remaining 15 are not paying taxes. The same example would apply to the builder floors. Through GIS mapping, we will be able to get an idea about the size and floors of the property,” said an official.

  • Published On Dec 25, 2023 at 09:34 AM IST

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