I am happy to be part of this new beginning for Smart Governance in the North East. The launch of Integrated Command and Control Centres in Gangtok, Namchi, Pasighat, Itanagar and Agartala is a welcome step.
The urban centres of the North East, with their pool of skilled human resource, have the potential to emerge as growth hubs for the entire region.
The Smart City Mission enables cities to identify their potential and challenges. It catalyses smart solutions for the challenges, through public consultation.
Smart City Command and Control Centres use digital technology to integrate different service networks. They enable real-time collaboration among departments such as Police, Transport, Power, Water, Sanitation, and Public Safety utilities.
I believe that with the system in place, administrators will be able to monitor city operations better and respond in real time.
The implementation of Integrated Command and Control Centres is gathering pace across India. As on the First of March 2019, these Centres have already become functional in fifteen Smart Cities. Work is in progress at fifty other Centres.
I am told that the North-East will have its first completed Smart Command and Control Centre as early as October 2019.
One of the key components of the system is the CCTV Surveillance system for Citizen Safety. This system is designed to help tackle crime.
The Intelligent Traffic Management System will help ease traffic flow.
The Solid Waste Management component in the Command and Control Centre will boost cleanliness in these cities. Smart Street Lighting will make our streets safer and citizen friendly. It will also improve energy efficiency through the conversion to LED systems.
Smart cities are also installing Public-Address Systems and Variable Message Signs to communicate important civic information.
Digital access is an important component of Digital India Mission. Public Wi-Fi system will provide free internet access to Citizens.
The North-East is an environmentally sensitive region. The Environmental Monitoring System and Disaster Management modules will give real time information to Citizens and Government. It will help improve the overall quality of life of Citizens.
As cities start implementing and expanding the different elements of this system, they will be able to improve Ease of Living for their citizens.
I am told that there are over 500 projects with a total worth of nearly 15,000 crore rupees in the ten Smart Cities in the North East. Work orders have already been issued for 59 of these projects.
I am happy to see Namchi in Sikkim, begin work on its Integrated Water Supply projects, LED Street lights and footpaths. Water is becoming a huge challenge in our hill cities. Gangtok has started work on rain water harvesting. It has also undertaken projects to construct multi-level car parks with Smart Parking features to ease traffic congestion.
Agartala has its own unique challenges due to its saucer-shaped geography that makes it vulnerable to floods. The city administration has taken up projects to manage the same under the Smart Cities Mission.
Itanagar has plans to improve its city road network through its Smart Roads and Intelligent Traffic and Transport Management system. Pasighat is addressing the challenges of housing, energy management and business development through key Smart City projects.
So, each city has identified its key problems and is moving towards finding solutions to these problems.
I am happy to note that the other five North Eastern cities of Guwahati, Aizawl Kohima, Imphal and Shillong are also moving in this direction.
Project implementation under the Smart Cities Mission is now gathering pace.
I am confident that we are fast progressing towards urban transformation of our North Eastern cities. This will improve quality of life and boost economic development of the region.