Smart City infrastructure helped to effectively deal with the pandemic: govt

 As on date, out of 100 Smart Cities in India, 75 have operationalised Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs) to effectively deal with the SARS CoV-2 pandemic. State/district/city administrations have converted the ICCCs into SARS CoV-2 War Rooms and used existing smart infrastructure for effective management of the pandemic, the ministry of housing and urban affairs stated in a release on Thursday.

All 100 Smart Cities deployed digital technology based and other innovative solutions to mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic. 
With SARS CoV-2 declared as global pandemic, Smart Cities took immediate steps to manage the crisis. The response to the pandemic in Smart Cities can be classified into four areas of action - Information, Communication, Management and Preparedness. 
The details of such steps taken by these cities to manage the pandemic are available in the document “The Smart Responses to Covid-19: A Documentation of Innovative Actions by India’s Smart Cities during the Pandemic,” which is available on `smartnet.niua.org’.
Government of India launched the Smart Cities Mission (SCM) on 25 June 2015 for development of 100 cities as Smart Cities. The cities were selected through four rounds of competition between January 2016 and June 2018. 
As of 12 November 2021, these cities have tendered out 6,452 projects worth Rs1,84,998 crore, out of which work orders have been issued in 5,809 projects worth Rs1,56,571 crore. Out of these, 3,131 projects worth Rs53,175 crore have been completed. C
ovid-19 pandemic related lockdowns and other unprecedented situations have led to temporary interruptions in the execution of Smart City works across the country. However, Smart Cities commenced work with the un-locking and are trying their best to make up for the time lost due to such unprecedented and unforeseen circumstances.
Key initiatives taken by Smart Cities:
  • Provision of information;
  • Maintaining communication;
  • Management of the situation;
  • Preparedness;
  • CCTV surveillance of public places and lockdowns/ people’s movement;
  • GIS mapping of Covid positive/ suspect cases;
  • GPS tracking of healthcare operations/ambulances/ workers;
  • Real-time tracking of disinfection services;
  • Deployment of Covid-19 mobile applications for early tracking, tracing and treatment;
  • Maintaining helpline numbers of state and district administration;
  • Enabling accurate two-way communication between stakeholders;
  • Inter-departmental coordination;
  • Leveraging social media channels to communicate with citizens;
  • Deployment of public address systems to communicate with masses;
  • 24X7 availability of medics at ICCC through shift system;
  • Pandemic monitoring dashboard with analytics;
  • Virtual training to doctors and other healthcare professionals;
  • Providing medical services through telemedicine;
  • Mobile applications for essential supplies;
  • Collaborating with hospitals/ medical stores to provide doorstep services to citizens;
  • Use of drones to disinfect public spaces, especially those that are difficult to access;
  • Provision of food and shelter to migrant labour, urban poor and destitute;
  • Provision of adequate quarantine/ isolation centres; 
  • Predictive analytics for virus spread analysis/ containment;
  • Predictive need forecasting for equipment and logistics; and
  • Continuous peer-to-peer learning through webinars/tech-clinics/ handholding sessions to disseminate best practices.
Minister of state for housing and urban affairs, Kaushal Kishore, gave this information in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.