Management of the crisis requires an integrated approach with an overarching strategy at the Central government level and implementation initiatives at the sub-national levels of the government. Indian cities have come up with innovative solutions to tackle COVID-19 within their wards and communities to help in bolstering and executing decisions taken at higher levels of governance. Smart Cities, in particular, have stepped up to the task of sharing technical and technological resources to attain the larger goal of containing COVID-19. Here we look at some examples from smart cities where IPE Global is providing project management consultancy services.
Kochi Smart City has been assisting the local police in sharing resources allocated for project activities. Barricades for smart city construction work for now have been diverted for use by the local police and government as barricades for movement to keep up social distancing.
Tumakuru Smart City has procured and deployed drones as part of smart city mission activities to assist the local authorities and stakeholders in monitoring movement all over the city, especially in hotspots. Potential uses will include real time tracking, monitoring and even logistical support. In Tumakuru, the team is also launching CCTV based house monitoring system which will be up and running in sometime.
Ujjain Smart City Limited inauguratedits firstIntegrated Command and Control Centerin 2018 which has ever since acted as a backbone for the city support & monitoring services. The facility has been utilized by the District Administration to act a pivotal point for monitoring of all EVM Vehicles during State Elections. In light of recent COVID-19 outbreak Ujjain’s Integrated Command and Control Center is being utilised as COVID-19 Center for the city:
- Broadcasting awareness support messages regarding Corona Preventive Measures through 32 functioning Variable Message Sign locations across the city.
- Coordinating with the police for Lockdown Management by disseminating information vide public announcement systems installed at 13 junctions of the city.
- Monitoring vehicles at 7 Entry/Exit points along with 12 junctions in Ujjain which through Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) System implemented under Integrated Traffic Management Systems Project.
- Setting up helpline numbers for lockdown support through which 2,077 complaints were resolved since March 2020 through the beginning of April 2020.
- Geo-tagging of 990 properties of COVID-19 suspect cases.
- Launching of an application for COVID-19 support which enables tele-consulting services, reporting COVID-19 suspect cases, and access to essential services and products for certain categories of vulnerable citizen.
Thiruvananthapuram Smart City is part of the programme initiated by Kerala state under which WHO developed protocols for effective control of the epidemic:
- The programme focuses on prevention based programmes to control spread of the virus such as setting up of detection centers including counseling and testing, public awareness campaigns (IEC activities) through social media and other print and broadcasting mediums.
- Information sharing and tele-counselling systems like DISA are set up and functional 24X7.
- Providing medical treatment services for affected people including training of health care staff.
- Additionally, rehabilitative and stigma reduction services for patients who have been treated and cured are rendered for their reintegration into their families and communities.