Maharashtra is emerging among the top states implementing urbanisation projects and embracing the Government of India’s ambitious ‘‘Smart Cities Mission’’ which is aimed at enhancing the quality of urban life in 100 cities across the country. Along with the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) and “Housing for All” schemes, Smart Cities Mission is radically changing the urban landscape of the country, says Gopi Krishna Arora of Elets News Network (ENN).
State Government along with the Government of India has emerged as major players driving Maharashtra’s development, and the paradigm shift is more apparent than ever under the leadership of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Acknowledging the importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for improving efficiency and effectiveness of the public delivery system in Smart Cities, the Maharashtra government is working on an integrated approach – providing a holistic infrastructure framework, data and information centre needed to achieve this reform. Fundamentally, a smart city is the one that holistically unifies data from a wide range of sources – authoritative data sources, embedded sensors, public services, citizen reports, utility companies, and more – to generate actionable intelligence for decisionmaking for improved governance and citizen services.
Maharashtra with advantages like good law and order and superior connectivity across various regions of the state has grown into an automobile, manufacturing and IT hub with a large number of investors drawn to the state from both domestic and international markets. The focus is on infrastructure development now, with an aim to transform the urban landscape by developing metro rail, IT hubs, Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) and separate cycling tracks across cities in the state.
Accountability and transparency are the two major fundamental requirements of good governance and both come with e-governance. Today, Maharashtra has emerged as the top performer in many fields by adopting e-governance as a major tool for delivering time-bound services to its citizens. The state ranked first in terms of internet readiness index, health index, agriculture marketing index, farmer friendly reforms index and also emerged as the best in ease of doing business.
Besides, the government has also started many initiatives to pace up the state’s digital transformation.
Mahawallet’ to facilitiate money transfers
Soon, people in Maharashtra will be able to use ‘Mahawallet’ — a mobile wallet supported by the state government — to transfer funds to and from other mobile wallets. The government is planning to launch this m-wallet to encourage cashless transactions.
Cyber police stations in all districts
The state of Maharashtra will convert 42 cybercrime labs into cyber police stations as part of the state government’s strategy to fight sharply rising incidences of cybercrimes. Maharashtra will be the first state in the country to have a cyber-police station in every district.
New project-monitoring platform
5D BIM, a new project monitoring platform, has been implemented by the Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. The new system is likely to save cost and at the same time, reduce litigations.
5D BIM stands for 5D Building Information Modelling. It allows different stakeholders including architects and contractors to monitor the growth of any project and associated cost factor. The digital project management platform will be integrated with SAP and by further including live project data; it will allow the owners to understand the project more closely.
Maharashtra Assembly to become paperless
The Maharashtra government has decided to procure computer tablets in a bid to introduce paperless functioning in the state legislature. States like Goa and Haryana are already using tablet computers during sessions of their respective legislative assembly.
MoU with Oracle to gear up digital transformation
In order to pace up the state’s digital transformation initiatives, the Government of Maharashtra has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Oracle to take advantage of Oracle’s Cloud solutions. Oracle and the Government of Maharashtra will develop the state’s Smart City Programme, with the aim of making the state’s urban landscape more livable and inclusive, while driving economic growth. As per the MoU, Oracle and the Maharashtra Government will create a Centre of Excellence (CoE) to help accelerate its Smart City Programme and modernising the government’s technology solutions.
Osmanabad to issue Aadhaar cards at birth
In the light of the Central Government’s ‘Digital India’ drive, Maharashtra’s Osmanabad district has commenced issuing Aadhaar cards to children aged up to five years using the government health facilities for vaccination.
Free Wi-Fi facility in Maharashtra trains
Telecom infrastructure provider RailTel plans to provide free hi-speed internet to passengers in premium long-distance trains of Maharashtra.
Melghat to become Smart Village
Maharashtra Government has also selected Harisal in Melghat area for a pilot project of smart village. The areas will be digitally connected to improve health care.
With these initiatives in place and many more in the pipeline, Maharashtra is on the cusp of a new age in urban development to ensure that citizens enjoy a good quality of life comparable to the developed economies in the world. Having set the pace with right policies and determination, the state seems to be heading in the right direction to help India realise her aspirations.