Smart Cities Enabling Local Governments To Fight COVID: Kunal Kumar
Smart cities have played a crucial role in enabling the urban local governments in the time of COVID crisis. The technology-driven interventions helped in active monitoring, data management, complaint redressal, doorstep service deliveries, better healthcare and enhanced management of people as well the civic affairs. Throwing light on smart city interventions and how they have built capacities of civic bodies, Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and Mission Director, Smart Cities Mission addressed a webinar organised by Elets Technomedia.
Smart Cities Mission Progress
Speaking on the progress of smart cities mission, Kunal Kumar said, “80 percent of the projects under the mission have been tendered, around 60 percent of the work is actually being done on the ground. However, due to the pandemic, many works are brought to halt.” The mission though began in 2015 but by the time the selection procedure for cities stretched till 2018. So, the development works done and ongoing looking at the span of time is worth appreciation, he added.
“We should not only talk about numbers, we should look at the works taken up and completed. We talked about roads but about complete streets, we talked about buses but not about mobility, we talked about pipes and water storage system but water to the home. Also, the way technology is being leveraged to upgrade services is commendable. It is a new beginning towards a better and smart future”, said Kumar.
Further on the progress of the mission, he said, “The testimony of how smart cities have progressed will actually come from how did it perform in the times of crisis. So there is a saying that “As the going gets tough, the tough gets going” and smart cities have lived up to this”, said Kumar.