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     PEC project to help MCC earn Rs 30 cr

Chandigarh, September 29th 2006, Tribune News Service.

In a major project undertaken by the Punjab Engineering College for the Municipal Corporation, students of the college would help the corporation earn at least Rs 30 crore as service tax.

The project has been completed by the college's Centre for Computational Engineering which is likely to be paid at least Rs 1 crore by the corporation for the job.

Over 100 students, mostly from the Civil Engineering Department, have painstakingly shortlisted, categorised and computerised the area and structure of almost every public building in the city. These buildings are liable to be charged service tax by the Municipal Corporation calculated at varying rates applicable to different types of public buildings depending on the floorwise area these occupy.

"The entire exercise was extremely laborious since there are buildings of which there is no record available with the Administration or the corporation. While these exist on the ground, the area and other structural details are missing. Our students went from one building to another, measuring the entire building, noting the structural details and then re-creating the building as three dimension geo spatial images on the computers. Once this was complete the actual area calculated was tallied with what owner claimed," explained Dr SC Dhawan, in charge, Computation Centre and Head, Civil Engineering Department.

Starting during their summer vacations, the students worked for over eight months before the project was completed and submitted to the corporation recently." We have covered around 500 buildings and the taxable area calculated by our centre is over two crore square feet. This should help the corporation earn at least Rs 30 crore depending on the rates they levy on these buildings," said Dr Dhawan.

While the project has covered majority of public buildings in the city which includes all government and private colleges, PEC itself, Panjab University, PGIMER, all theatres, bhawans, schools, both private and government, nursing homes etc there are at least 75 public buildings, data for which could not be gathered.

"Students were not allowed entry into about 75 buildings, including the entire Capitol Complex where we have the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Punjab and Haryana secretariat etc. The approximate taxable area here would be at least 50 lakh square feet and this converts into a substantial service tax," added Dr Dhawan.

Since a detailed data bank of these buildings has been created by PEC as part of the project, a move is also on to have this date on the official website of the corporation for ready reference by both the corporation employees and the owners. "But the move is still under consideration and a final decision has to be taken on it," said Dr Dhawan.

In any case the entire exercise is bound to help students go places. The computational centre has been approached by some other corporations and councils in Punjab to undertake a similar project for them.

 | Original Source of News

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