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Police Housing Corpn now turns IT-savvy

Madhumathi D.S.

The corporation has put in place a Web-based Project Monitoring System (WPMS) to track the progress of its housing projects. The system has saved the KSPHC time, cost and effort.

BANGALORE, Oct. 31

HOUSING for police would probably be one of the most unlikely candidates for e-governance. Strange but true, IT is the order of the day at the Karnataka State Police Housing Corporation.

The corporation has put in place a Web-based Project Monitoring System (WPMS) to track the progress of its housing projects. The system has saved the KSPHC time, cost and effort, according to engineer-turned-IPS officer and corporation CMD, Mr R. Sri Kumar.

Currently, some 650 quarters are being built at various places in the State. This is apart from the ambitious Accelerated Housing Scheme 1, meant to provide 4,900 quarters by the end of 2002. The Rs 160-crore project is funded by HDFC and HUDCO.

According to Mr Sri Kumar, the 17-year-old corporation has a huge backlog of construction of various amenities for the State Police Department and its personnel. Data for 2000 put the figures at 22,474 houses completed against the total need of 56,634 units.

The WPMS was part of the modernisation plan for the building activity. Thanks to the plan, the corporation recorded unprecedented growth, building 6,088 houses in a short time or virtually packing 15 years' work into just 15 months, says Mr Sri Kumar.

Ever since the e-monitoring system was installed in April last year, the time overrun has been cut from three years to three months; and the cost escalation by 20 per cent. Now the corporation is confident of completing Rs 500 crore worth of works in five years and has cleared a fifth of it already. "We will be tendering out Rs 150-crore works by March 2003," he said.

The WPMS includes a portal (ksphc.org), a 2-mb leased line and a WAN. Networking with the contractors who form a key part will be done on the e-mail. The web camera allows the CMD to monitor remote area projects from Bangalore.

"We are harnessing the Web to push the job, with a 2-mb leased line and a WAN... We will be starting e-tendering soon," he said. An ArchiCad software helps to design and correct its buildings.

The next project, the Rs 180-crore AHS-2, has been submitted to the State Government. The new schemes will include rainwater harvesting techniques for water conservation.

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