10 UP cities fight Covid-19 war ‘smartly’, and how!Updated: Apr 24, 2020 20:02 IST
Covid-19 pandemic is no less than a war. And what’s coming in handy in the fight against the deadly virus is the ‘war room’ set up in each UP district to manage different tasks on a real-time basis.
While all the districts are handling the crisis in a best possible manner, 10 UP cities are managing the pandemic smartly — all thanks to paraphernalia, including the Integrated Command & Control Centre (ICCC), they got under the Smart City project.
“The infrastructure was there. Only it was used for a different purpose. When the Covid-19 challenge was thrown upon us, we tweaked the functioning of the ICCC into processes needed for pandemic management and the results are for all to see,” said Deepak Kumar, principal secretary, department of urban development, UP.
The day the government announced the nationwide lockdown, the ten municipal bodies with Smart City project —Lucknow, Agra, Varanasi, Saharanpur, Moradabad, Bareilly, Prayagraj, Jhansi, Aligarh, and Kanpur —turned their respective ICCC into war rooms for Covid-19.
“These war rooms with their robust integrated technology support are serving well to the entire gamut of Covid-19 activities,” said Kumar while listing the functions which the district administration is managing through the ICCC.
“Hotspot management, grocery-vegetable helplines, security and surveillance, including home isolation and institutional quarantine of Covid-19 positive cases and suspects, traffic monitoring, lockdown monitoring, sanitization, cleaning, water supply, sewer — all are being managed from here,” said Kumar.
Additionally, the tweaked version of the ICCC also network about telemedicine, black marketing response system, food for the needy scheduling-monitoring, community kitchen management, and animal welfare.
They also relay live telecast of advisories through VMS (variable message signs) systems and public address systems, and aid video conferencing with Lucknow.
“In Agra, a 25-member team works round the clock at the war room much like the teams in nine other Smart City war rooms. The Varanasi centre has its ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) with 25 terminals and an additional helpdesk. Just the way Varanasi centre is networked with 404 surveillance camera for monitoring and 49 public address system, same is the network in the other Smart Cities,” said Dr Kajal, director, local bodies, Uttar Pradesh.
These war rooms do have helpline integrated into them and they do realtime data crunching, information and response sharing back and forth between the stakeholders.
“Incidentally, most of the ten Smart Cities also happen to be among the high Covid-19 incidence districts in the state and they have a significant edge in management over other cities that lack such integrated system. Such tech networked management system proves all the more relevant in crisis management,” said an official.
When asked, why cases are rising drastically in cities like Agra or Lucknow if the smart city set ups are aiding the fight against Covid-19, Dr Kajal said: “Smart City is the tech support for information, logistics, movement etc. It cannot do anything to the transmission or pathogenesis (the manner of development of a disease ) of Covid-19. Smart City is an integrated administrative tool and not a medical set up in itself and cannot do anything to the medical aspect of the disease. It is helping in a big way in managing non-medical aspects and interventions. For instance, if someone with symptoms is hiding, the technology in itself cannot do anything.”
Caption 1: Agra Smart City’s Integrated Command & Control Centre (ICCC) converted to Covid-19 War Room.