Citizens must be involved and accountable in Smart Cities
Smart cities is not just about the creation of these hardwares and softwares or the analytics, it is about how the analytics can be used by the regular district administrations in making their functioning better.
The Smart Cities Mission has redefined the way cities are planned and governed. For the success of the smart cities mission, it is important that the citizens must actively participate in the smart cities, from planning to execution to the maintenance. Taking the case of Gwalior Smart City,, it was selected in the second list of the smart cities announced on September 20, 2016. Since then, there had been so much of progress. The city administration had already started working on various projects and out of them many projects are already in the execution phase. We have floated a few tenders for parks which are ladies' parks, Shivaji Park, and Nehru Park.
Apart from that, we are planning to float tender for smart roads as well as for Kathiyaral tank development. Rest, if we talk about the social infrastructure and the economic sector, we have floated a woman entrepreneurship RFP just a few days back. In addition to that, we have also floated tenders for smart classroom. The city administration is also working on smart parking as well to ease the traffic congestion. Apart from that we are also working on Swarnarekha Riverfront Development. If we talk about the challenges, there are many. We are building infrastructure, but it is not sufficient. The first challenge is the maintenance and operation of the infrastructure.
We bid a tender of seven years for operation and maintenance, but yes, after seven years are the citizens ready to take the challenge? Are the citizens ready to own the particular infrastructure which we have created for them. Certainly we must think on these lines. It is important to have citizen support and citizen collaboration. Citizens must be accountable, that, whether there is some organization or not in place, they must be able to own these infrastructures which have already been created and will make it a sustainable. According to me this is a major challenge.
The second challenge is the convergence of all the technologies. We are creating a lot of technology. We have already floated a tender for a control and command center for Gwalior Smart City. Also, we have floated many tenders for various applications. There is city one app which has three apps in collaborations- blood bank app and tourism app as well as the women empowerment app. We are creating a lot of IoT and for everything there is a control and command center. We are talking about environmental sensors. We are talking about surveillance cameras. Certainly, these all are important, provided that the analytics which we get, had to be linked with the district administration with the CEO of smart city taking the lead and walking as a convergence of all these different departments. The data can be used by different departments like police, municipal bodies and others. These are the things we should be taking care of.
Smart cities is not just about the creation of these hardwares and softwares or the analytics, it is about how the analytics can be used by the regular district administrations in making their functioning better. The main issue is how the citizens as well as the district administration are getting benefit out of it. So, at last it is the outcome which will decide the success of all these softwares and hardwares.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house