Hyderabad-based startup VeriDoc has enabled a blockchain-based pilot project for property tax assessment certification at Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC), Maharashtra, in one of the first such projects in the country.
The implementation of blockchain technology is expected to alleviate multiple pain points by tracking late payments, dispute resolution, monitoring collection targets, recording the non-delivery of bills and facilitating inter-department coordination within the government, VeriDoc said in a statement.
The project was implemented under the flagship programme of the ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA) -- Accelerating Growth of New India’s Innovation’ (AGNIi) -- in conjunction with other initiatives of the state government to give startups opportunities to participate in government contracts despite the lack of prior experience.
According to the startup, integrating blockchain technology in property tax payments will ensure faster approvals and provide a single point for data availability. The one-scan solution is also expected to simplify the process apart from relieving other stakeholders such as bank officials, property buyers, lessees and more by enabling them to verify all the original documents with recent updates, it added.
“Every time an authorised external agency scans a QR code on the certificate, the system will pull the original certificate for instant verification. We will also share the data with most of the updates for the benefit of various stakeholders," said Venkat Reddy, CTO of VeriDoc India
This will also help other partners in the ecosystem, VeriDoc said. For instance, an individual applying for a loan can get their documents verified from anywhere with a QR scan without having to visit an office or wait days for verification, therefore, making the process seamless, it added.
The final implementation of the blockchain solution will take approximately two months. VeriDoc said that it was also working with other smart cities to identify the most suitable use cases of blockchain for their smart city missions including use cases that deliver the highest value for both governance and citizens.
"We are looking to support the administration as well as assure the citizens of inclusive urbanisation of our progressive nation and so to help we tap into our learnings drawn and adapted from other sectors such as education, healthcare, supply chain, pharmaceutical, agritech and more,” said Rea Achalkar, CEO of VeriDoc Global India.
Sameer Unhale, CEO of Thane Smartcity and additional municipal commissioner for TMC said that the technology intervention can go a long way toward thwarting fake documents. He added that even the PDF certificate generated will have a QR code, which will enable the citizens to share documents without having to make in-person requests.
"We have seen it can significantly alleviate tedious paperwork, and it enhances the already-digitised system validation and recordkeeping by providing instant access to authentic data via any smartphone. We will hopefully become the archetype for other local bodies, thereby setting a standard for service offering and service delivery,” Unhale said.
VeriDoc solution is an anti-fraud, instant document verification system that ensures that the user is looking at an authentic and accurate document as created at the source and stored in an encrypted format on the blockchain network.
With several smart city missions accelerating technology adoption for enhanced transparency and efficiency in administration, technology companies see a huge opportunity in the government sector.
Last week, information technology major Tech Mahindra, an arm of the diversified Mahindra Group, had won a deal for a smart city project worth Rs 500 crore for Pune-based civic body Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) in a fifth such project the company had won.