Civic body to roll out cards in June; to offer discounts
With the support of ICICI Bank, the Chennai Corporation will roll out its smart card project by the end of June, facilitating payment for civic services of three departments.
“In the first phase, the smart card will be used for payment of property tax, profession tax, water tax and electricity bill,” said an official.
The smart card can be availed at a nominal price and can be recharged at all the 196 e-seva centres in the city. The civic body will offer discounts for residents who use the smart cards.
‘One card, many services’
Within a couple of months, the Corporation is looking to expand the smart card to transit services including Metro Rail, MRTS and MTC buses, transforming it into a common mobility card, officials said. “It will be similar to the common mobility card for residents in cities such as Hong Kong,” said an official.
If things work out as planned, the smart card users could well be booking cinema tickets and buy groceries at retail outlets, officials said. However, they will not be able to use the card to pay for services such as birth and death certificates.
On Monday, the Corporation officials held a meeting with its partner, ICICI Bank, for the Integrated Common Card Payment System. Discussions revolved around how best to put the smart cards to use.
ICICI will be the first bank to issue the smart card. “Residents can transfer money from any wallet into the card. It will be a new channel of payment acceptance for civic services,” said an official.
“Chennai Corporation will run campaigns to mobilise funds for civic projects. Groups residents who have such smart cards will be able to contribute money for such projects,” said an official.
Currently, residents are permitted to pay civic charges by various modes such as demand drafts and online transaction. “Walk in payment of property tax at counters of 10 banks has not been successful owing to reluctance of bank staff in many of the branches,” said an official pointing out that “online payment of property tax is becoming popular.”