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Group of Ministers recommends alphanumeric codes for streets, localities: Report

A Working Group of Ministers on employment generation and skill development has said in its report that streets be numbered using an alphanumeric format, the Print reported on Wednesday. Under such a system, each village and locality would be allotted a unique code. 

The report points to archaic street identification systems even with explosions of growth in rural and urban areas, and highlights the resultant hurdles in delivery of public services, such as police, ambulance, addressing breakdowns in water, electricity supply, and tax collection without “a system of street coordinates”. “Street addressing and Door numbering is a key and basic infrastructure which has been overlooked,” the report said, according to the Print. 

The system proposed is reportedly called One Nation, One Address, and according to the Print, is akin to Aadhaar, though it’s unclear how. In an example pointed out by the publication — in a code like ABC-110-220, ABC would be the area or village code, 110 would be the street number, and then the house number (220). 

The Working Group of Ministers, headed by Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Chand Gehlot, made the recommendations in a report submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October. The GoM’s report points to some of the features that such as system could have: 

  • Establishing street, road, building relations
  • APIs (Application Programming Interface)
  • Support for emergency services
  • Enabling record keeping for departments such as Property Tax, Census, Emergency services, utilities, etc.
  • Ability to interact with map providers to ensure adoption

The idea has been tested and implemented by New Delhi Municipal Corporation, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, urban local bodies in Andhra Pradesh, the GoM’s report says. 

The pioneer of this system is probably Vijaywada Municipal Corporation which, in 2016, had assigned 11-digit alphanumeric codes to 370,000 properties under its Digital Door Number System. Under the project, a Hyderabad-based start-up Zippr issued unique codes to residences, offices, commercial complexes, and others with GPS locations identified, that integrated photos and postal address. 

 In June 2018, the New Delhi Municipal Council was reported to be working on launching a project which would allot a unique digital door number to each property, to expedite provision of municipal services and better gather data on these properties. The plan was to give each property an alphanumeric code containing information of the main road, subroad, landmark, building, and floor, that would be affixed with a RFID and QR plate. 

In September 2019, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation announced a similar project to have better information related to electricity, water connection, property tax and fee collection management. It was proposed that houses would be given unique IDs and will be mapped on Geographic Information System platform 

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