GUWAHATI, Oct 29 - �If we want to make our cities smarter, the citizenry must be smart first. The capability to use smart phones and surf Internet is not smartness. The city�s entire infrastructure and service system has to be such that citizens can use them smartly. Smart governance, along with top class transportation, utility service and environmental sustainability can only make cities smarter for smart living.�
Delivering the first Professor Aparna Kumar Padmapati Memorial Lecture on Saturday on the topic of �Smart transportation for smart cities�, Professor Prabir Kumar Sikdar, Advisor, International Road Federation (India chapter), made the above remarks with focus on citizen-centric approach for the smart cities.
The lecture was organised by Rengoni Assam in the hallowed memory of the noted educationist, environmentalist and humanist Professor AK Padmapati who played a pivotal role in inspiring and shaping the future of a number of students of the Assam Engineering College (AEC).
�A city�s first impression is its traffic and transportation system and thus a vast component of the �smartness� revolves round the urban transportation system. A Wi-Fi enabled city that gets inundated in half an hour�s rain can�t be considered smart. With little control over development, poor level of planning and inadequate infrastructure, it will take more effort to instill �smartness� in such cities compared to creating new smart cities,� he added.
Professor Sikdar, who is also the president of Intercontinental Consultants and Technocrats Pvt Ltd, New Delhi, further stated that whereas the major cities in the world have developed mass rapid transport system and controlled the road fatalities, in India, the system has been introduced very late even in a city like Delhi. The more we allow the private transport system to swell, the more we cause damage to the city,� he added.
He also suggested some measures like more accessible real-time traffic monitoring and management using GIS mapping, sensors and cameras, smart integration of various public transport modes, modernised public information system for public transport, better parking management and 24x7 traffic enforcement system using intelligent transport system.
Speaking as the guest of honour, Professor Gautam Barua, Director, Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Guwahati, said tremendous progress in technology that the world has witnessed in the past couple of years has made the devices smaller and cost effective. �As smart is the buzzword today, use of technology, clubbed with communication, has a great role to play to ensure smart living,� he added.
The programme, organised at the Institution of Engineers, Panbazar was presided over by Shyam Sunder Deka, whereas Baneswar Khound delivered the welcome speech. A short film on Professor Padmapati was also screened on the occasion.