Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Internet of Things..

 I have been involved since the last more than a year and half in conceptualising for implemention, the Disaster Mangement Center for CIDCO.  I initially visited the Mumbai DMC run by the Mumbai Municipal Corporation, and then at CIDCO we had a pilot project in the monsoons of 2014 and 2015, called Emergency Operations Center (EOC), wherein calls of Navi Mumbai residents  regarding issues in public spaces, like tree fall, road flooding, snake bites etc were attended to urgently through this Center. The average resolution time in the pilot was 1-5 days last year and 0.95-3 days this year. So we are feeling confident that we can run a useful Emergency Operations Center which will operate all the year round, 24*7.  The process of tendering for a project management and implementation agency will start shortly. We have plans for call center like operations and also for pan-city resiliency building measures through training on fire and earthquake safety, by this Center.

An interesting thought came to me recently. Since this Center will run on data-data on peoples’ day to day grievances on public spaces and resolution of the same, and data on contacts of resolving agencies,  can we pool in more data and create an IOT (Internet of Things) Center, to do smart governance for Navi Mumbai?

The Center will be part of CIDCO’s ongoing CCTV project for Navi Mumbai police, wherein the CCTV locations which are on Navi mumbai’s critical infrastructure, like major water supply pipelines, the holding ponds which are civil creations to control inflow and outflow of water vis a vis the sea, and other structures, will be watched by CIDCO officials through this Center. The Center will be equipped with a GIS map of Navi Mumbai. So if we can pool in health data on epidemics of diseases like malaria and dengue, which are much prevalent in Navi Mumbai, a software for hotspot mapping of evolving disease locations on the GIS map, can be very helpful in targeting remedial civic measures like fogging or better checks on water stagnancy conditions at construction sites, to cure the problem. This data pull from the urban health centres and hospitals of Navi Mumbai can be done through an ‘app’ to be developed for the same. Similarly, movement of garbage collection vehicles can be tracked by GPS on the GIS map at the Center. Both these datasets are related and will result in giving better public health services to the city’s residents.

The EOC will, of course, be hearing and resolving public complaints relating to the state of municipal  services in the city. This data can also be used as a management tool, by picking out on the map, concentrations of various types of complaints area wise across the entire city, so that there is better focus and direction by the senior management on resolving the issues and public satisfaction at CIDCO’s services will surely rise.

Further, apps can be developed by CIDCO and offered to senior citizens and the women citizens of Navi Mumbai for urgent emergency communication to the EOC. EOC can act as a first responder to senior citizens calls by despatching  a well equipped cardiac ambulance. Even in the situation of crime against senior citizens, a medical response is the first need. In case of calls by women through the app, the same can be automatically redirected to the police control room as police must be the first responders on this. CIDCO can thereafter work with police using this data, to create safer public spaces for women through better lighting, guarding vacant and dangerous plots etc. Apps can also be developed to pool in data of school bus movements on the GIS maps. This app can make the bus movement data visible to school authorities and parents.

Also, like the disease hotspot mapping idea mentioned above, software for crime hotspot mapping at the police CCTV command Center will smarten up crime tracking and its prevention by police-multiplying the safety environment for the city.

Lots of ideas and work to do. But it would be very satisfying to help create this EOC as an  infrastructure for making the city of Navi Mumbai safe in a smart way.