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As an immediate response to COVID-19, several smart cities in India leveraged smart solutions and facilities that were implemented as part of the 100 smart cities programme. Deloitte, in its recent report, India Smart Cities’ COVID-19 Response, highlights that the tactical use of Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs), coupled with data analysis seen to have enabled effective governance and administration to control COVID-19 and put in place a disaster response and recovery strategy.
This approach also highlighted the fact that data crunching and smart technology could help cities and their administrations take a proactive approach through evidence-based urban governance. Whether aligning the COVID-19 response strategy, mapping the population to provide effective ration delivery to the poor and targeted beneficiaries or deploying resources with a proper objective in mind, the central government’s smart cities programme is seen to have come in handy in driving a forceful response for the pandemic.
Sharing his experience, Anindya Mallick, Partner, Deloitte India, said, “The smart cities across the country seem to have taken this pandemic as an opportunity to innovate, learn, collaborate, and find ways to respond to the crisis. Smart use of technology remains the key takeaway in fighting a global crisis of this nature. The integration of COVID-19-related services and other essential municipal services through an integrated platform has led to efficient and effective inter-departmental coordination and data-driven decision making by city administrators.”
As the pandemic broke out, the central government took several measures to contain the spread of the virus in the country. Some of the key measures included containing the spread of COVID-19 at the community level by imposing a countrywide lockdown, tracking and tracing COVID-19 patients, augmenting and strengthening the healthcare system to manage testing, quarantine, and hospitalisation of cases and announcing a fiscal stimulus package to help the economically vulnerable sections of the population and businesses impacted on account of the pandemic.
The full Deloitte report can be read here (https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/in/Documents/public-sector/in-gps-Executive-summay_smart-city-paper-noexp.pdf).