'Smart cities need to adopt a monitoring framework'

smart-city-mission Representational image | PTI

International Data Corporation (IDC) in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Cisco brought out a report on 'Smartest Cities of India'. The report suggests that in order to achieve sustainable urbanisation, cities need to adopt a framework that is socially equitable, economically viable and environmentally sustainable. The report highlights that mere investments in enhancing the infrastructure is not the only solution for smart cities. Though rapid urbanisation had resulted in economic growth it had posed socio-economic challenges too. The report stresses the importance of technology to help cities become smarter and more efficient.

“On a daily basis, around 200,000 people migrate to cities from rural areas globally, in search of better education, jobs and health care. This migration is not going to stop. We need to make sure that there are attempts to improve the efficiency of cities and make them liveable, sustainable and more efficient. We should monitor the amount of wastage that happens in a city. For instance, in a year we spend hours on the road due to traffic congestion. Attempts should be made to reduce this wastage and how we can reduce the amount of time spend on the road by better traffic monitoring. We should measure the economic impact of such a wastage. At the same time we should be able to use our resources more effectively. For instance, redeploying traffic police to manage traffic in heavy traffic areas from less congested areas,” said Sameer Garde, president, Cisco – India and SAARC, on the sidelines of the report launch.

The IDC report also highlighted the Cisco Golden Mile project at Vijayawada and its societal, economic and environmental impact. IDC along with the Andhra Pradesh government monitored and analysed the efficiency of the smart solutions deployed in the city against the smart city score card comprising parameters such as digital inclusion, citizen convenience and engagement, public safety, revenue and environmental impact. IDC observed that 46 per cent of respondents in the city had used the smart services and said that technology had positively impacted their lives. About 79 per cent of the respondents felt more secure after the Vijayawada city administration deployed smart surveillance solutions in the city. Additionally, IDC also observed that power savings as part of the city wide smart initiative such as smart lighting could help the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation save upto Rs 35 crores per year.

The report also speaks about Cisco partnering with the Jaipur Development Authority to make it a smart and secure WiFi city through smart technologies and solutions. As a result smart WiFi spots were created for the benefit of citizens and tourists. Interestingly, Jaipur has around 3.5 million residents and attracts about 40 million tourists every year. As part of the project, IP-based solutions were also installed at different key locations in the city for enhanced monitoring that resulted in an increased level of safety and law and order across the city.