Chennai Corporation struggles with delays in building reassessment
ECONOMY & POLICY

Chennai Corporation struggles with delays in building reassessment

Six years have passed since the launch of the Greater Chennai Corporation's geographic information system-based building reassessment initiative, but nearly 80% of the buildings with deviations are yet to be reassessed.

Darashaw and Company, appointed by GCC, identified 3,10,139 buildings with deviations for reassessment and re-measurement. However, only 60,000 buildings have been remeasured, and among these, only 30,000 have been reassessed and included in the property tax calculations.

This delay has resulted in a significant revenue loss for the corporation, estimated at Rs 2.5 to 3 billion, constituting about 20% of its annual property tax revenue. Revenue officials attribute the delay to the diversion of the workforce to other tasks such as Covid-19 response, elections, monsoon preparations, and welfare schemes like the ?Kalaignar Magalir Urimai Thogai? drive.

According to an unnamed revenue official, the assessment process involves thorough inspections, measurements, correlation with GIS mapping, and finalisation of deviations, with potential legal challenges from property owners further complicating the process. K Dhanasekaran, the standing committee chairman of the accounts department, highlighted that universities, marriage halls, and commercial buildings were the major violators. He emphasised the need for a dedicated survey team independent of the regular GCC workforce to expedite the reassessment process.

Dhanasekaran urged the corporation to establish a specialised team for building surveys and emphasised the importance of the commissioner reviewing the under-assessed buildings zone-wise to accelerate the reassessment drive. Deputy Commissioner (Revenue and Finance) R Lalitha assured that the drive would resume soon, with a commitment to reviewing and expediting the pending works.

Six years have passed since the launch of the Greater Chennai Corporation's geographic information system-based building reassessment initiative, but nearly 80% of the buildings with deviations are yet to be reassessed. Darashaw and Company, appointed by GCC, identified 3,10,139 buildings with deviations for reassessment and re-measurement. However, only 60,000 buildings have been remeasured, and among these, only 30,000 have been reassessed and included in the property tax calculations. This delay has resulted in a significant revenue loss for the corporation, estimated at Rs 2.5 to 3 billion, constituting about 20% of its annual property tax revenue. Revenue officials attribute the delay to the diversion of the workforce to other tasks such as Covid-19 response, elections, monsoon preparations, and welfare schemes like the ?Kalaignar Magalir Urimai Thogai? drive. According to an unnamed revenue official, the assessment process involves thorough inspections, measurements, correlation with GIS mapping, and finalisation of deviations, with potential legal challenges from property owners further complicating the process. K Dhanasekaran, the standing committee chairman of the accounts department, highlighted that universities, marriage halls, and commercial buildings were the major violators. He emphasised the need for a dedicated survey team independent of the regular GCC workforce to expedite the reassessment process. Dhanasekaran urged the corporation to establish a specialised team for building surveys and emphasised the importance of the commissioner reviewing the under-assessed buildings zone-wise to accelerate the reassessment drive. Deputy Commissioner (Revenue and Finance) R Lalitha assured that the drive would resume soon, with a commitment to reviewing and expediting the pending works.

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