BENGALURU: The efforts of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic during the lockdown by setting up a war room have been recognised by the World Economic Forum. The recognition was announced late on Wednesday night with the release of the ‘Technology and Data Governance in Cities- Indian Cities at the Forefront of the Fight Against Covid-19’- report of December 2020. Along with Bengaluru, Surat and Pimpri Chinchwad have also been recognised.
Former BBMP Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar, said on social media, “Technologies to identify, control and combat the widespread of #covid in Bangalore”. Pleased to share that work during the lockdown under my tenure as commissioner, #BBMP ; is recognised and well documented by @wef.” (sic).
He told The New Indian Express: “It is a documentation they have done. In the report, they have recorded what was done in Bengaluru as it was one of the first of the few cities to have created a war room. They have appreciated the efforts of how the city fought the pandemic and how technology was used for end-to-end solutions to combat the pandemic.”
Interestingly, the state government has not yet taken note of the report.Three global cities Tel Aviv, Lisbon and New York City were also assessed in terms of their responsiveness to the pandemic, together with underlying mechanisms for technology and data governance. In the report, the researchers noted that local authorities used their ‘COVID-19 War Rooms’ to effectively coordinate and monitor activities of various state and city agencies. Through the War Rooms, cities brought together civil society, local businesses and others on a single platform through their websites and mobile applications to collaborate with the city administration.
The report said: “Based on data collected manually and through various sensors, cities carried out data modelling and predictive analytics at the COVID-19 War Room using dashboards, scenario visualization and simulation models to identify the virus spread and plan their response. In the case of global cities, they tackled the pandemic in a similar manner, with city authorities effectively coordinating with various city agencies in planning and monitoring their response.
The cities quickly put in place a robust mechanism using existing smart solutions to ensure health care measures to tackle the spread of the virus, manage the lockdown and maintain effective communication channels with citizens. The quick adoption of technology solutions by Indian smart cities was facilitated by specific measures instituted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), the nodal ministry for the Smart Cities Mission.”