Thane, 25 cities adopt smart tech to combat coronavirusUpdated: Jul 01, 2020 23:38 IST
From developing an app for emergency responses, and setting up a social media platform where experts can share their opinions, to creating a surveillance dashboard that monitors traffic and crowding, 25 smart cities in the country, including Thane and Pimpri-Chinchwad, have adopted innovative and smart techniques to combat the pandemic, states a Central government report.
The report, ‘Smart Responses to Covid-19’ published by the Central government’s Smart Cities Mission, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), and World Resources Institute (WRI) India was released on June 25. It lists measures taken by 25 smart cities across India in five key categories of action — tracking and monitoring, diagnostics, sanitisation, awareness and capacity building, and citizen support.
Kunal Kumar, joint secretary and mission director (smart cities), ministry of housing and urban affairs, said, “By July 25, we will be releasing a report on all 100 smart cities and the measures adopted by the civic administrations. These are innovative techniques looking at information gathering, management, accurate predictions and communication that can be adopted by other cities too.”
The report talks about measures taken in Agra, where the government has created a hyper-local AI-driven app that allows citizens to raise requests for emergency help across nine categories like food, medicine, medical help, etc. “Citizens can select the category of help needed and press the SOS icon. The help request will go to volunteers in a 300-metre radius,” the report states.
The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) installed 298 ‘point-tilt-zoom’ surveillance cameras at 85 locations in the city for the civic body and police to monitor traffic and crowd movement.
PCMC also created the ‘Smart Sarathi mobile application’ which includes a Covid-19 self-assessment test, list of containment zones, ‘Near Me’ services (showing nearby Covid hospitals, fever clinics, market places, food distribution centres, shelters, etc.), e-pass applications, and volunteering forms. An M-governance app created by the Greater Vishakapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) collects data from surveys conducted in containment areas and also connects the field team with a rapid response team of doctors for emergency cases.
OP Agarwal, CEO, WRI India said, “The report serves two purposes – it acts as a compendium for other cities to look at innovative ways to tackle problems, and it also serves as an encouragement for the civic administrations.”