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Computer wing for civic body

The Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) will set up a dedicated IT department, which officials feel is a must given the increasing use of computers in daily civic functioning.

The state government last week had approved the CMC’s proposal to open the department, which will come up on the fifth floor of the conservancy building in Datta Lane, opposite New Market.

“The department, to be headed by a chief manager, will monitor the IT logistics of the civic body,” said an official.

More than 1,500 computers have been installed in various civic offices as part of the CMC’s e-governance initiative, launched with funds from the UK’s department for international development.

“The computerisation programme is being managed with help from Tata Consultancy Services, KPMG and Oracle. But it is not possible to run the entire system without an IT department of our own,” said mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya.

The CMC kicked off its computerisation in 1998, during the tenure of civic commissioner Asim Barman. To start with, the civic body had installed over 200 computers and a dozen standalone servers. It was around this time that the civic body launched its website.

In the subsequent phase, the Dhapa dump and the assessment, revenue and building departments were computerised, following which the annual civic revenue rose by 40 per cent.

Now, all civic departments and outlying offices are interconnected and linked to a central server worth Rs 36 crore.

“The citizens will soon be able to deposit taxes, licence fees and other charges or can collect birth or death certificates from any CMC office, thanks to e-governance,” said municipal commissioner Alapan Bandyopadhyay.

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