Housing Ministry To Create Online Database For All Cities By 2024
With an aim to address urban issues more efficiently, the government will create an online database of all cities by 2024 on infrastructure, education and health facilities. This will be an 'Open Database' that can be accessed by everybody free of cost and an 'Exchange of Database' under which agencies might charge for commercial use of data, according to the Union Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) Ministry.
The database, which will include data on infrastructure, traffic, education, health, sanitation, safety and population, will be created on a single platform in a phased manner,
In the first phase, a database for 100 cities under the Centre's flagship 'Smart City Mission' will be created by March 2020, while in the second phase, 500 cities will be brought under the project by 2022.
"We will have a database of over 4,000 cities by 2024. We are building a database of these cities. Data storage will be available at one place," said HUA Joint Secretary and Director of the Smart City Mission Kunal Kumar.
Under the project, the government has planned to set up an online 'Swachh Kashi' platform for the people of Varanasi. On this platform, people can post photos of dirty and clean areas, which will be scored automatically by the software. A similar portal has been created in Pune which list details about which streets are safe to use.
Would-Be Smart Cities Taking Too Long To Smart Over Local Problems
It was three years ago when Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Smart City Mission to develop 100 cities across the country and make them citizen- friendly and sustainable. So far, 99 cities have been selected and Rs 98,000 crore has been approved for their development. Still, there is no visible change one could perceive. Despite the fact that the PM had given strict orders to stick with project development timelines last year, the Smart City Mission has made little progress.
According to the media reports, around 400 projects costing Rs 20,000 crore could only be approved in next three months. The value of projects under implementation till August 2017 was about Rs 8,000 crore which increased to more than Rs 30,000 crore involving 936 projects. In the past eight months, 26 more Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) were established, taking the total SPVs to 91 and total number of project management consultants to 67.
According to the data presented by the housing ministry in the Rajya Sabha on January 4, only 5.2 per cent of the total identified projects has been completed. That means, only 148 projects out of 2,864 projects have been completed. Moreover, details are being worked out for about 72 per cent of the identified projects while work on 407 projects have just started.
Thinking globally, not acting locally
A big challenge for the smart city mission is the funding as local governing bodies are unable to raise money using their own resources while the Centre is contributing Rs 500 crore per city. Many cities are also facing resistance in the execution of projects as citizens have opposed user charges for services provided under the mission.
*Madhya Pradesh recently launched an Integrated Control and Command Centre in Bhopal to monitor the status of various smart civic amenities in real time through the sensors. There are total seven smart cities in Madhya Pradesh- Bhopal, Indore, Ujjain, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Satna, and Sagar
*Smart City Thiruvananthapuram Limited is set to ink a pact with IPE Global for project management. Earlier, the projects were stalled due to the blacklisting of the previous bidder.
*Recently, the Bihar government has allocated Rs 200 crore for the survey and detailed project report in making Muzaffarpur a smart city.
*Diu Smart City has become the first city in India that runs on fully on renewable energy during daytime. This is a benchmark other cities could follow.