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Approach:

  1. Introduction on ICCC.
  2. Mention briefly about ICCC & its functions.
  3. Mention the associated issues.
  4. Conclusion.

The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs recently unveiled the Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCCs), which will be established in 80 select cities as part of the Smart Cities Mission, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme. It is part of the ‘pan city’ component of the Mission which will apply selected Smart Solutions to the existing city-wide infrastructure.

About ICCC & its envisaged functions: the ICCC is 5 pillared : (a) bandwidth, (b) sensors & edge devices which record & generate real time data, (c) analytics software drawing on the data captured by end devices to generate ‘intelligence’, (d) data storage, and (e) the ICCC software called as ‘system of systems’ and describes as “brain & nervous system” of the city.

The ICCC will act as the “nerve-centre” for operations management, day-to-day handling and even disaster management. Central to this idea is “predictive modelling” which uses data to generate inputs on not just how the city is but also how it can be in future. For e.g., it can tell in which direction the city is growing, the future real estate hotspots, identify all accident prone zones, etc.

Issues in ICCC functioning: the ICCC may be seen in sync with the functions of the Urban Local Bodies towards improving urban services. But, some contradictions exist –

  • the project is executed under a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) constituted under the Companies Act 2013, in select cities. Projects of the SPV that overlap with the core ULB areas have generated tensions. The core staff of the ULB working across departments need to adopt the ICCC A solution can be to build a team in the SPV that can act as bridge, inspire more users and develop capacities.
  • It runs the risk of underutilisation with poor integration with ULB services, software integration and also in terms of workflows and SOPs. The configuration of video surveillance analytics and its applications have remained below potential. This defeats the purpose of ICCC.
  • Sizeable investments are required for ICCC, creating contradictions in some cities that are struggling for funds to upgrade their basic infrastructures & services.
  • Some segments of ICCC are dominated by select industries who may dictate terms to the city or engage in manipulating payments.

The application of ICCC saw success in some cities during the Covid-19 pandemic, whereby the ICCCs served as “war rooms”. However, unless the services of the ULBs and the people involved in delivering them are “integrated” into ICCCs, it will turn out to be an expensive experiment, whose success will be short-lived.

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