From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Smart City Mission
Mains level : Significance of Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs)
The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister has announced that 80 Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs), an integral component of the Smart Cities Mission, have already been set up.
What is the Smart Cities Mission?
- The Smart Cities Mission aims at developing 100 cities, which were shortlisted, into self-sustainable urban settlements.
- The mission was launched on June 25, 2015 and was projected as one aimed at transforming the process of urban development in the country.
- Among its strategic components is ‘area-based development’, which includes city improvement (retrofitting), city renewal (redevelopment) and city extension (greenfield development), plus a pan-city initiative in which ‘smart solutions’ are applied covering larger parts of the city.
- Key focus areas of the scheme include the construction of walkways, pedestrian crossings, cycling tracks, efficient waste-management systems, integrated traffic management and assessment.
- The scheme also assesses various indices to track urban development such as the Ease of Living Index, Municipal Performance Index, City GDP framework, Climate-Smart Cities assessment framework, etc.
What is an Integrated Command and Control Centre?
- The Smart Cities Mission includes setting up ICCCs for each such city as a vital step.
- These ICCCs are designed to enable authorities to monitor the status of various amenities in real time.
- Initially aimed at controlling and monitoring water and power supply, sanitation, traffic movement, integrated building management, city connectivity and Internet infrastructure, these centres have since evolved to monitor various other parameters.
- The ICCCs are now also linked to the CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Networks and Systems) network under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
- The ICCC acts of a smart city acts as a “nerve centre” for operations management. It processes a complex and large pool of data sets at an aggregated level.
- It is the nodal point of availability of all online data and information relating to smart services included in a smart city, such as like LED street lighting, CCTV surveillance cameras, air quality sensors, etc.
How did the ICCCs help in management of Covid-19?
- During the pandemic, they also served as war-rooms for Covid-19 management.
- During the peak of the first wave, when countries were struggling to figure out ways of combating the virus, the government used the ICCCs as war-rooms for managing the outbreak, with real-time surveillance and monitoring of districts across the country.
- Converted into war-rooms, the smart cities’ ICCCs used the central data dashboard and provided information about the status of Covid-positive cases in various administrative zones of these cities, officials aware of the exercise said.
- The war-rooms were also used for tracking people under quarantine and suspected Covid-19 cases.
What is the current status of the Smarts Cities Mission?
- The ambitious project, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015, had an initial deadline of 2021 for the first lot of 20 smart cities out of the 100 selected.
- Although the project was announced in 2015, the cities were selected over a period of two years between 2016 and 2018, each with a deadline of completion within five years from the time of their selection.
- On the recommendation of NITI Aayog, the timeline was extended last year until 2023 due to delays caused by the pandemic.
- According to current Ministry data, the SCM has so far covered over 140 public-private partnerships), 340 ‘smart roads’, 78 ‘vibrant public places’, 118 ‘smart water’ projects and over 63 solar projects.
- The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has begun work to finalise its recommendation for providing ICCCs as a service to states and smaller cities.
- The Ministry aims to finalise an ICCC model and implement a pilot project across six major states — Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.