E-Gov is at the Heart of the Smart Cities Vision
The government is on the way to substantiate a concrete infrastructure for eGovernance through the Digital India program. As Digital India is centered on providing utility to citizens, offering on-demand services and digital empowerment, the program will be the nexus of public services, public service providers, and the public. On the other hand, digital technology being the central avenue to access services and government amenities, Digital India’s role will be consequential in successful implementation of smart cities.
Urban sprawl, transportation, distribution of public amenities, and waste management have been the critical aspects of urban management in India. Insightful use of digital technology will assist to solve these issues and promote a healthy society in smart cities. Urban sprawl is pertinent due to lack of connectivity and services in cloistered location. On the other hand, lack of monitoring in locations across cities adds to uncertainty and misinformation in government data. This in return, weakens administration in such areas, depriving people from amenities and services. Such situations awake the plethora of critical social and economic problems such as poverty, substance abuse, and crime. Through digital aids, connectivity in such clusters can be enhanced improving monitoring and hence government services.
The issue of transportation arises due to unplanned development of urban locales and unorganized service providers. Smart cities around the world such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam have successfully implemented innovative services such as bicycle as a mode of public transportation. Moreover, mobile apps and web-enabled services are being used for real-time updates about timings and schedules of bus services. Digital technology can be leveraged as the onestop-solution for addressing the lacunae in the distribution of public services to citizens. Here again, Digital India emerges as the platform that has the potential to transform the entire ecosystem of public services, offering the common connecting link between citizens and authorities. Use of digital technologies in administration, regulation, financing, planning and operations at smart cities will improve the grip of government in governance. Meanwhile, paving the way for digital living, it will support a sustainable environment. Digital technology will enable real-time evaluation of public life in these cities, which will increase safety and security and reduce crime. Devices such as camera, smart meters, mobile applications, and cloud services will provide comprehensive solutions to solve the issues of urbanization. Digitization will thus play the pivotal role to fast forward smart cities.
Ensuring Secure Smart Cities
A strong security infrastructure is essential to ensure a healthy and secure ICT platform. The current IT landscape of India is tainted with a weak security infrastructure and issues such as cybercrime may grow out to be a major impasse. The government should emphasize on to devise solutions to such enigmas beforehand.
As programs such as Digital India are going mainstream, it will also bring forth the threats of attracts, if implemented with vulnerabilities. A country such as India is certainly not in a position to withstand massive attacks in the Internet domain as of now, even if the hacker’s community of the country proves their existence globally every now and then.
In fact, digital aspect in smart cities is the only one among other imperatives such as renewable energy, sustainable environment, and the intrinsic correlation between social life and urban planning.