Case Study: Smart City Control Centre developed as COVID-19 War Room, Pimpri-Chinchwad
The pandemic threw light on those pillars of smart city infrastructure that already exist in cities around the world but hadn’t been exploited so far. The importance of partnerships being infrastructure, technology and experts was also underlined and the challenge of producing sustainable infrastructure with maximum efficiency and minimum costs emerged as more important than ever before.
In this light, the Government of India’s Smart Cities Mission (SCM) has actively provided support for rapid response in COVID-19 management through efficient information collation on food and shelter provisions, location and contact details of food distribution centres, shelter homes and kitchens, hospitals, beds and oxygen cylinders, vaccination centres, and so on.
Pimpri-Chinchwad is one of Maharashtra’s key industrial hubs, acting as the extended city limit of Pune. With a large floating population of daily workers and migrations augmenting its residential population of 1.72 million, the city ended up being one of the first COVID-19 hotspots in the state. The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) had to prepare for the challenge in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 across the city.
PCMC officials responded quickly to the pressures of the pandemic, beginning with identifying measures for its containment. The existing Smart City infrastructure was leveraged, converting the Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) into a war room. The city administration on-boarded the Smart City technology consultants to develop solutions for better monitoring and management of the pandemic.
The highest priority was placed on tracing and tracking infected patients and their contacts to control the spread of the disease. Separate dashboards have been created and maintained for these functions: the Healthcare and Patient Tracking Dashboard offered real-time information on COVID-related cases, testing and healthcare arrangements; the COVID-19 GIS dashboard keeps track of containment areas, geotagging people who have been home quarantined, identifying last locations of COVID-19 positive individuals and marking lane closures, besides monitoring patient activity levels, door-to-door campaigns, disinfectant spraying, and so on.
- Integration of various technologies like GIS mapping, real-time dashboard and analytics, along with CCTV monitoring helped in tracking, testing, monitoring, isolation, quarantining and treatment of patients at the earliest and minimizing the spread of the virus.
- Useful analytics have been drawn out after receiving data from hospitals and PCMC Smart Sarathi mobile application, followed by linking to the war room
- Greater engagement of experts, civic bodies, government bodies, NGOs, industry partners and citizens to fight the pandemic together through well-informed steps forward
- Creation of a hub in the form of the ICCC war room for making data-driven decision-making and coordinated response.