City Apps: Making Cities Smarter

Smart Apps | smart city solution | business magazine|

Since the launch of the Smart City Initiative in 2015, by the Government of India (GoI), a lot has been said and done about it. The initiative opened among mixed reviews. While some lauded it calling it as the need of the hour, some view it as a herculean task for a country where cities aren’t planned per se. But those, who are committed to making the Indian cities smarter, are leaving no stone unturned in their capacity. And one crucial thing they concur is the need to involve the citizens.
A city is made of its citizens and the initiative is aimed at providing them with the benefits of technology. So, the involvement of citizens is the true driving force. Awareness sessions, taking their feedback, and surveys to determine what they need, are all ways to let them have their say in building a smart city. And to empower them mobile applications or apps are the best way. A lot of apps have been developed to address the issues of a city through the help of technology. Here’s a look at a few popular ones that are making cities and its services smarter.
Swachhata App – The application launched by the GoI is a complaint redressal platform. The issues are addressed by the Municipal Corporation of the respective city and are applicable for all 4041 towns of India. This app requires the citizen to take a picture of the civic issue they want to complain about like a garbage bin that hasn’t been picked up. They then post the image on the app. The app sends the geo-location of the image to the authorities along with the complaint. These complaints can be viewed by the Municipal Administrator on their respective website. The status of the complaint is sent to the citizens through push notifications. There’s a set Service Level Agreement for different issues and the complaint must be resolved within that time limit. Once the issue is resolved, a resolved image is pushed by the Municipality. The citizens have the option of re-opening the complaint if they are not satisfied by the resolution and can also provide feedback on the work done.
Surat Smart City App – The city of Surat can now boast of its own set of apps that help it improve its infrastructure using technology. The Surat Smart City mobile application enables the citizens to stay updated with the latest happenings and project details under the Smart City Mission. Another app, Surat Sitilink tracks the city buses for citizens. The app can be used for searching particular bus routes, mobile ticketing, bus schedules and more.
Meri Sadak – Roads are the lifeline of a city. Launched by the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), the mobile app Meri Sadak is intended to take care of this lifeline through the citizen’s point of view. Using this app, citizens can capture and upload the image of the road that needs attention, like potholes, water logging etc. Using GPS, the app allows citizens to give feedback on their complaints, whether they have been addressed or not or general feedback about the status and work on a road.
Citizen Cop – This initiative by the Madhya Pradesh Police, calls out the citizens to be their eye. The app Citizen Cop is now adopted by other states too and acts as a technological bridge between the police and the citizens. This award-winning app has features like incident reporting, SOS help, news and notification, Police Directory, reporting lost article etc. Apart from the Citizen Cop foundation is also involved in the conservation of forests, preventing child trafficking, donating extra food to the hungry and underprivileged and more.
Once again, the emphasis is on making citizens more participative and aware of their surroundings and its issues. These apps aim to open a bridge of communication between the government and the citizens. These apps reinforce the thought process that making a Smart City is indeed a collaborative effort of the authority and the common people.

– Sneha Sinha

Related Posts