Smart Cities Mission is an urban renewal and retrofitting programme launched by the Government of India to develop smart cities and make them citizen friendly and sustainable. The Union Ministry of Urban Development is responsible for implementing the mission in collaboration with state governments; this is expected to complete between 2019 and 2023.
The objective of the smart city initiative is to promote sustainable and inclusive cities that provide core infrastructure to give a decent quality of life, a clean and sustainable environment through application of some smart solutions such as data-driven traffic management, intelligent lighting systems, etc. In the approach to the Smart Cities Mission, the objective is to promote cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and application of ‘Smart’ Solutions. The focus is on sustainable and inclusive development and the idea is to look at compact areas, create a replicable model which will act like a light house to other aspiring cities. The Smart Cities Mission is meant to set examples that can be replicated both within and outside the Smart City, catalysing the creation of similar Smart Cities in various regions and parts of the country.
Key focus areas of the scheme include construction of walkways, pedestrian crossings, cycling tracks, efficient waste-management systems, integrated traffic management and assessment.
The core infrastructure elements in a Smart City are as follows:
- Adequate water supply
- Assured electricity supply
- Sanitation including solid waste management
- Efficient urban mobility and public transport
- Affordable housing, especially for the poor
- Robust IT connectivity and digitalisation
- Good governance, especially e-governance and citizen participation
- Sustainable environment
- Safety and security of citizens, particularly women, children and the elderly
- Health and education
The focus is on sustainable and inclusive development and the idea is to look at compact areas, create a replicable model to serve as a beacon to other aspiring cities.
What is an Integrated Command and Control Centre?
The Smart Cities Mission includes setting up ICCCs for each such city as a vital step. These ICCCs are designed to enable authorities to monitor the status of various amenities in real time. Initially aimed at controlling and monitoring water and power supply, sanitation, traffic movement, integrated building management, city connectivity and Internet infrastructure, these centres have since evolved to monitor various other parameters. The ICCCs are now also linked to the CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Networks and Systems) network under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The ICCC acts of a smart city acts as a “nerve centre” for operations management. It processes a complex and large pool of data sets at an aggregated level. For example, it is now the go-to source for integrated traffic management monitoring.
The ICCC is the nodal point of availability of all online data and information relating to smart services included in a smart city, such as like LED street lighting, CCTV surveillance cameras, air quality sensors, smart parking system, WiFi, electricity and water supply and billing, GIS, e-hospitals, property tax management, estate management, engineering systems, asset management systems, and other services.
- This is the first time, a MoUD programme is using the ‘Challenge’ or competition method to select cities for funding and using a strategy of area-based development. This captures the spirit of ‘competitive and cooperative federalism’.
- States and ULBs will play a key supportive role in the development of Smart Cities. Smart leadership and vision at this level and ability to act decisively will be important factors determining the success of the Mission.
- Understanding the concepts of retrofitting, redevelopment and greenfield development by the policy makers, implementers and other stakeholders at different levels will require capacity assistance. Major investments in time and resources will have to be made during the planning phase prior to participation in the Challenge. This is different from the conventional DPR-driven approach.
- The Smart Cities Mission requires smart people who actively participate in governance and reforms. Citizen involvement is much more than a ceremonial participation in governance. The participation of smart people will be enabled by the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) through increasing use of ICT, especially mobile-based tools.
How to structure:
- Give an intro about Smart City Mission
- Explain the objectives and focus areas
- Analyse the importance of Integrated Command and control System
- Way forward