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News Updates 11


Visualising smarter cities gobally


The Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (Casa) in UK has devised a ‘City Dashboard’ for visualising key information about the place you live in. London is the best-represented city for data. The ‘dashboard’ for the city offers transport data, news feeds, geographical information, weather reports, traffic infor- mation and water levels along the Thames.


The ‘City Dashboard’ displays information on local news, trans- port, politics, environment, business, and weather. Information on the current air pollution levels are streamed in live through real-time data. In the city of Peterborough, this technology is helping the city visualise energy, water, transport and waste sys- tems to produce a realtime, integrated view of the city’s environ- mental performance. Citizens will be able to log on to the web portal to make more ecologically-minded decisions about their resource usage


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Committee recommends rationalisation of property tax


The High Powered Expert Committee (HPEC) for Esti- mating Investment Require- ments for Urban Infrastructure Services has submitted its report to the Government of India. The report recommends that the Property tax should be rationalized. The main recommendations are: •Property tax should be re- tained as a general benefit tax, and its components such as water tax and sewerage tax should be replaced by appropriate ‘user charges’;


•Property tax should be levied on all immovable properties including vacant land;


• the base of levying property tax should be revalued every five years; ULBs should have the flexibility to fix the tax rate with respect to property tax on constructed buildings subject to a floor specified under the law;


• Registry of tax payers should be maintained to minimize leakages;


•Tax collection should be through online payment/ computerized centres.


PPP model for metro rail projects


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The Working Group on Urban Transport has inter-alia stated that public private partnership in Metro rail projects should be permitted if a project is found to be fit and viable for this approach on account of ridership alone. This, however, should not be linked with providing land for property development beyond what is needed for the operation of rail transit.


The recommendations of the different working groups were examined by the Steering Committee on Urbanization for making recommendations for formulation of 12th Plan. Its recommendations of vari- ous other expert bodies are input for formulating the 12th plan.


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