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Departments join hands for smart cities in West Bengal

October 19, 2015 | By

The state government is working on converging different initiatives to develop four smart cities in the state. Officials from departments like urban development, home, transport, health, power, IT and those from Webel, CII, Nasscom and other consultants attended a meeting last today to discuss on the issue.

The state is preparing a plan for New Town, Salt Lake, Asansol and Durgapur, which have been selected and included in the centre’s list for the smart city project. This will be submitted to the Union urban development ministry by November so that the cities get funds in the first phase. A total of 100 smart cities have been selected across the nation.

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It was planned that writeups will be made by the first week of November on the activities under digital India, megacity (safe city), National Urban Health Mission, m-governance, urban mobility , solar city, intelligent transport systems and other central and state government schemes.Different citizen-centric activities such as call-an-ambulance, complaint-to-police or call-to-fire brigade were also discussed. The officials also discussed as to how these initiatives of different departments could be merged together to develop the smart cities.

It has been primarily agreed upon in the meeting that a common control and command room system will be required so that in times of emergency all agencies concerned can move and reach the spot in time. It was also discussed as to how a citywide WiFi system with free Wi-Fi in public hot spots could be developed in public-private-partnership (PPP) model.

In Salt Lake, a meeting was held at Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation to discuss on ways to prepare the smart-city plan. A smart seminar for Salt Lake was also organized on Saturday and it was attended by experts from various fields and representatives from different business chambers. It has been planned that residents’ views would be taken into consideration to develop Salt Lake as a smart city .

The state is likely to receive investments from US-based companies for the development of the proposed smart cities. Representatives of American Chamber of Commerce in India (AmCham India) will soon meet representatives of different urban local bodies and consultants to discuss the plans for the smart cities and theme townships. A state delegation also recently discussed with AmCham India on ways as to how US companies can partner with the four smart city projects.

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