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Licences -- Not in line but online

Sibabrata Das

Mumbai, Sept 9: Janet, 50, has just bought a Labrador and is standing in a queue in Old Bridge Township office, New Jersey, US, to obtain a license for her dog. A heart patient, she complains that she has to go round the municipality office at her age: For property tax, pet licences and other official requirements.

She won't have to, after a few months. Old Bridge Township is constructing a website for its 56,475 residents at a cost of $200,000. The benefit: Residents can get their paper work done on the Net by logging on to www.oldbridge.com.

Compucom Software Ltd, a company founded by two Indian engineers Surendra Kumar Surana and Ajay Kumar, is developing the site. Work began a month back and the data base is being integrated. "The site will become operational within three months," Compucom Software managing director SK Surana told The Financial Express.

Already on the site are static sections like animal licences, senior citizens' programmes, voter registration, township meetings, roaddirections, map of the township including the garbage collection centre and calendar of events.

The next phase of development: To expand it into an e-commerce site. "The process should take six months. We will be able to offer customer type of transaction on the Net," said Surana.

The website plans to offer a wide variety of customer services on the Net. The residents can register themselves on the net and find out their outstandings to the municipality body. Birth and death registrations can be done on the Web. Pet licences can also be obtained. After the e-commerce facility is developed, residents can make payment of their annual taxes and other accounting work through the Net.

Will the site make money? The municipality body will recover the investments it has made to develop the site by bringing down the support people for paper work.

Compucom Software is looking at developing other township sites in the US. "We can duplicate the models and customise it to other towns. The concept can work inIndia, once the cyber regulations are in place," said Surana.Compucom Software offers domain expertise in two segments: Telecom software and internet/intranet applications and Web-enabled solutions.

Compucom plans to upgrade its lab-cum-training centre at Jaipur and set up new software centres at Delhi and Calcutta. Besides, the company is strengthening its marketing set-up through its US-based wholly-owned subsidiary - Compucom Global Solutions.

Copyright © 1999 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.

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