CPPR Chairman Dr D Dhanuraj comments in a article published in The Times of India. He says “The IC4 needs to be modelled in such a way that it should even be able to gather data from public and also disseminate information to private agencies, which are keen to be part of implementation of various city development and infrastructure projects. Basically, it is crowd sourcing of data.”

The Cochin Smart Mission Ltd (CSML) is looking forward to inputs from various government departments and agencies for effectively utilising the Integrated Command Control and Communication Centre (IC4). Though IC4 was officially launched on June 8, many departments and agencies are yet to provide information and data required for drafting and designing development plans for Kochi

Officials at CSML are awaiting data or inputs from Kochi corporation, Kerala state electricity board, Kerala water authority, Kerala state pollution control board, motor vehicles department, town planning and disaster management.

“The idea is to bring all information available with various departments on one platform. All information should be readily available to planners. It will help in finding solutions in emergency situations like natural calamities, epidemics, crime, fire, riots and for everyday issues like parking, water shortage, and garbage collection and disposal in the city,” said CSML spokesperson.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, on June 8, had inaugurated IC4, which was termed as the brain for city operation. It provides insights by processing complex data sets at an aggregated level to derive intelligence for improved planning and policy making.

D Dhanuraj, chairperson of centre for public policy research, said, “It is an evolving process. We should have a conclusive environment and political leadership that can take IC4 forward. The IC4 needs to be modelled in such a way that it should even be able to gather data from public and also disseminate information to private agencies, which are keen to be part of implementation of various city development and infrastructure projects. Basically, it is crowd sourcing of data.” However, he cautioned that the entire data gathering, and dissemination should work within a legal framework, where identities and privacy of individuals are not compromised.

Citing an example from Germany, he said, the city labs there headed by the mayor, collects information of travelling public. “It is done for mobility planning and is carried out with the consent of the public. Based on this information they decide on the mode of public transport that has to be operated in various sectors. There is huge data and they have even entered separate tie-ups with mobile service providers. Though each move of a commuter is tracked live at their office, no information regarding the identity or contact numbers revealed. On the tracking system people appear as dots,” he added.

Experts also stressed the need of incorporating data available with the revenue department on IC4. Even though local bodies, including Kochi corporation, have no major say regarding land use, it will be of help to the decision makers and project executioners. Land being the most precious commodity in development, any data regarding it is of high value. “When data regarding land is made available on public domain it will curb manipulations and put an end to dubious deals,” said an official with the revenue department.

This news article was published in The Times of India on June 26, 2020. Click here to read

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