Surat Set To Become India’s First Smart City Under Microsoft’s CityNext Project
Microsoft CityNext has partnered with Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) to develop Surat as a smart city with advanced urban planning and citizen empowerment processes never heard in India.
Using Big Data, Internet and eGovernance, CityNext will help to make the city as a model of development and progress.
Milind Torawane, Surat municipal commissioner said, “We are excited to partner with Microsoft to transform Surat into a sustainable and competitive city that cares for its citizens,”
Some of the vital areas where Microsoft and SMC will work together to develop Surat as a Smart City include:
- Hi-tech Urban Planning using Big Data and real time information
- Water management solutions
- Waste management system
- RTI mechanism
- Vaccination Alert System
- Property Tax payments
- Birth/Death Registrations
- Uniform Application Tracking system
- Disease analytics and reporting mechanism for hospitals
- Development of a City Dashboard to track and analyze all development projects under a single umbrella
Niranjan Zanzmera, Mayor – Surat said, “By transforming Surat into a smart city, we are setting a benchmark for other cities in the country on how IT solutions can help empower citizens and address cities biggest challenges and fuel economic growth.”
With 4.6 million people, Surat is Gujarat’s second largest city and a major economic hub. It is India’s 9th largest metropolitan area and World’s 4th fastest developing city (as per study conducted by City Mayors Foundation).
As per GDP ranking of Indian cities, it is ranked 8th with a GDP of $40 billion, with estimates of $57 billion GDP by 2050.
The city is popular for it’s diamond trade, and it singlehandedly accounts for 99% of global diamond polishing and cutting industry. Surat exports $15 billion worth of diamonds from India, which is highest in Asia.
Despite being such a major economic hub, Surat witnessed a devastating plague outbreak in 1994, which killed 54 people, and created a state of terror in and around the city. Major travel restrictions were put into place, and city suffered heavily for it. Proper urban planning and timely action could have prevented such an incidence at one of India’s richest cities.
What Is Microsoft CityNext?
It can be described as a ‘people-first’ initiative by Microsoft to provide a platform for citizens and government to use technology as a medium for development and progress. CityNext empowers governments, citizens and businesses to literally transform their cities and their future. Every plan and blueprint devised by CityNext aims to create a greener, healthier and prosperous communities.
CityNext has already delivered stunning results in Paris, Auckland and Washington DC where they have introduced faster public transport system, solved their energy problems and introduced world class technological solutions to improve city life.
Last week, they had announced similar people-centric projects for major Kenyan cities as well, where the work has already started.
Which other Indian cities should be converted into a smart city? Do share your views by commenting right here!