by February 1, 2012 0 comments

India has witnessed major urbanization in recent times with an estimated 30 people leaving rural India for urban areas every minute in the next 20 years. At this rate, the country will need some 500 new cities in the next two decades. Cities and urban development will need to use innovative technologies and solutions to manage the growing demands on the city infrastructure that delivers vital services. Keeping this in mind, it is critical to build smart safer cities which are sustainable and have the required smart enablers and solutions to manage growth, while providing an improved quality of life for the residents.

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According to the Frost & Sullivan Aerospace, Defence & Security Practice Report 2011, India is expected to be a great market for safe city solutions with 7 announced projects to be completed in the next 10 years. Fostered by the national government, a major Safe City project is expected to be implemented in 6 major states across the country from 2011-2012. People in India are now beginning to look at smart cities as the way to build cities in future. So they also want to see smart city as a safe city. Safety is not only with regard to natural disasters, floods, earthquakes, fire and epidemics, but even with man-made disasters like terrorist attacks or bombings.

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I strongly believe that in order to create safer cities, we have to take a holistic approach, supported by effective governance, empowered by technology and safeguarded by cyber security. Our cities are gold mines of heritage, architecture, culture and human wealth. The Safe City initiative will seamlessly integrate new technologies with the existing security apparatus to safeguard lives and property. The ministry of home affairs has been steadily increasing spends on internal security every year. As per the report on homeland security by Ernst & Young, the total investment made by the Indian Government in 2009-10 on internal security was to the tune of 12.6 Billion USD.

Some of the areas where we foresee a huge demand in technology adoption are homeland security, safeguarding infrastructure, surveillance, intelligence and finally policing. Today, technology can play a huge role in maintaining records, authenticating ID and ensuring security in all transactions. Crime and Criminal Tracking Networks and Systems (CCTNS) to modernize the police force across all states and Union Territories have assumed significant focus by the Government. CCTNS is a landmark step towards seamless sharing of criminal data records amongst police forces across states. Even to secure our borders and large infrastructure facilities like airports, high sensitivity night cameras and perimeter security systems have been installed. In the BFSI sector, there is a huge impetus on adoption of technology to improve security and tighten authentication. RBI mandated all banks to implement biometrics-led cash dispensation schemes by 2012.

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