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NMC lies to Centre, claims it started online property tax payment
January, 01st 2013

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India ( CAG) in its latest report on local bodies exposed Nagpur Municipal Corporation's (NMC) false information submitted with the Central government.

It seems that the civic body has not learnt from its past mistakes. It claimed to have started the online property tax payment system in July. The fact is that the system is yet to take-off.

The list of NMC's woes does not end here. The corporation has not achieved its target of completing 50% projects sanctioned under JNNURM by the end of 2012.

The NMC submitted its quarterly progress report of JNNURM projects with the Centre and state government for the period between July to September. The report is also on the NMC's website.

In the report, it mentioned that the online property tax payment system has started. A visit to the website of NMC's property tax department proves that false information was given to the government. The website states 'coming soon' and is on display since the last few months.

The NMC launched the special website for the property tax department under the e-Governance project approved under the JNNURM scheme itself. As a part of reforms and also e-Governance project, the NMC has to launch the online payment gateway for property taxpayers.

The NMC launched the website but is yet to start the e-Payment gateway. Details of the property taxpayers and demand bills are uploaded on the website. The NMC is also busy scanning all documents related to the department. But the false claim related to the e-payment gateway has raised serious questions about the NMC's method to meet the Centre's targets.

Admitting that the online payment is yet to be started, a senior NMC official told TOI that the system is all set to be launched within a few days. "Everything related to the department is online now," he said.

A senior official from NMC's JNNURM cell said the statements were made according to data received from e-governance and the department concerned.

Besides, the NMC too failed to complete 50% projects by end of the year. According to the NMC's data, the Centre approved 19 projects under JNNURM. All the projects were to be completed by March 31 but the projects got delayed. The Centre extended the deadline to December 2013 on the condition that NMC ensures completion of 50% of the projects by December 31. Even municipal commissioner Shyam Wardhane stated that the Centre is considering the projects under JNNURM phase-II according to this target.

The NMC's data reveals that seven projects were completed until November. The NMC official said one more project - part-4 of Pench-IV water supply scheme - was almost completed by December 31. "We almost achieved the target. The railway under bridge project is nearing completion and would be ready by the first half of January," he said.

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