How Smart Cities can offer smart solutions for your safety

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Posted on 16 January, 2016

The larger objective of the Smart Cities Mission for India is to promote cities that will provide core infrastructure and guarantee a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment, hassle free access to all civic services and application of ‘Smart’ solutions.


Ideally, a smart city should have the following:
a. An efficient delivery of public utilities such as water, electricity, solid waste management and sanitation, as well as associated government services.
b. Affordable housing especially for the poorer sections of the society.
c. Reliable transport services of all types, to provide congestion free roads, and minimal waiting time for public transport commuters.
d. Active surveillance, monitoring and alerts at vantage points in the city to provide the much required public safety for citizens, especially for women, children and the elderly.
e. On-demand availability of reliable emergency services such as ambulance, fire safety.

City fathers have a responsibility and duty to protect the citizens and a large part of this duty is taken care of by police, fire and ambulance services, in real time. Every aspect of the day to day living is made stress free for its citizens. Smart technologies aid the authorities in fulfilling this need. In a Smart City all these services are inter-connected. Not only this, emergency services in disaster management will also be attended to promptly and efficiently.


The best systems capture and collate information in order to provide solutions for seamless service delivery. These solutions enable authorities to act in tandem to redress the problem on hand. One classic example is of a traffic violation. If a vehicle jumps a traffic signal, the CCTV cameras would instantly capture the image which in turn triggers a reaction. The miscreant is identified and the information is sent to the nearest point for immediate action.

Surveillance cameras, access control systems, remote monitoring devices etc. are required to enable the security agencies to monitor public areas and track incidents and the criminal activities of known gangs to safe guard the city and its citizens.

The public safety systems put in place in a Smart City will:
• Allow the public to connect.
• Analyze and view data from any compatible device.
• Enable the concerned authority to take coordinated action.

Thus by equipping the law enforcement authorities and civic personnel with the latest technological equipment, a safer and healthier environment would be provided to the citizens at large. This would lead to a very conducive living environment, which in turn instill confidence and satisfaction among the people.
Without the safety measures, no city can really be called smart. A safe city is a progressive city which will permit business, institutions and the society to flourish. In the last few years due to the many horrific incidents of crime against women, child rape and terrorism, security and safety has become a matter of prime concern.
Cities around the world are becoming smarter and more connected and once Indian cities become smart, violators of the law will have no escape. By 2020, it is predicted that 50 billion smart physical objects – everything from cars to aircraft carriers, restaurants to refrigerators, and malls to medical devices – will be connected to each other and to humans, generating a humongous amount of data. IDC, the analyst, estimates that in the same timeframe, over 42% of all data will come from machines.


Consider the following example: A Kumb Mela like gathering. Crowds are swelling. Sensors embedded at vantage points monitor and alert overcrowding. As the crowd reaches danger point, the sensors automatically alert police, ambulance services, medical teams or hospitals and government and transportation officials, who take prompt action to control crowd and provide the necessary emergency services.


When the citizens feel the ease of transacting their day to day business without wasting their time in unproductive wait anywhere, be it the corporation offices or railway stations or even a cinema theatre and they feel absolutely safe and secure in their city, then truly the city becomes smart. All other indices work towards this end.