HIDCO is taking more initiatives to develop New Town as a smart city. It has planned to set up two utility buildings for the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA). These modern-looking towers will operate as operational centres for the NKDA. E-services on civic-related issues such as birth and death certificate procurement, property tax collection, mutation of land, etc. will function from here. The utility buildings will have customised e-services counters.
At present, all civic services are provided from the NKDA building in Action Area I. However, as the population of the township is expected to exceed 10 lakh in the near future, the authorities will require a bigger and more centrally-located building to work out of. HIDCO officials have said that one tower is to be erected at Action Area I and the other at Action Area III.
NKDA has so far been the only urban planning agency in West Bengal to introduce online sanctioning of building plans. Modern methods of evaluation such as digital signatures and AutoCAD software are being used for sanctioning building plans.
Already, the HIDCO authorities have formulated a smart city concept plan and submitted it to the Centre. Along with the plan per se are insights and suggestions on how modern web-based technologies could be developed and implemented as effective tools for managing a variety of services. HIDCO’s main aim is to make service operations in New Town e-friendly, smooth and efficient.
Some of the service operations mentioned in the plan include ideas to boost functionality and convenience. Examples of these are the development of an intelligent public transport system, public Wi-Fi coverage, synchronisation of land and tax data, and a web-based system of property tax implementation. There are also modules for efficient resource utilisation which include features such as underground solid waste management and energy-conserving sensor-based street lights.
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