Brain Of A Smart City

By Puneet Agarwal, AVP, Grant Thornton India LLP

Grant Thornton India LLP is one of the largest assurance, tax, and advisory firms in India. With over 3,000 professional staff across 14 offices, the organization provides robust compliance services and growth navigation solutions on complex business and financial matters through focused practice groups.

Integrated Command and Control Centers (ICCC)

Every city has its own set of infrastructure and multiple functions like our human body. Synonymously, just like a human body’s Nervous system, Cardiovascular system, Skeletal system, Respiratory system, Urinary system, Digestive system, Social Responsibility, etc., each city has its Road infrastructure, Transport system, Energy network, Water and Sewerage system, Communication system, Waste disposal system, eGovernance services for citizens and the latest trending developments are City nervous system.

The city nervous system consist of a set of  Integrated  command and control system (Brain of the city), IoT (Internet of things) which includes camera, sensors, public announcement systems etc. and OFC connectivity (Backbone and nerves of the city).

Indicative similar nature of Human Body functioning and that of a City Command & Control Center along with IoT devices and Systems:

The Integrated Command and Control Centres are envisaged to be the brain for day to day city operations,  disaster management and exception handling. The sensors and edge devices will capture and generate real time data from various utilities such as safety clubbed with security, Water and Energy related utilities, Waste management, Mobility & Transport, the Built and sensitized environment, Education and Healthcare.

ICCC as a platform through its different layers and components will act as a decision support system (DSS) for city administration in order to respond to the real time events by consuming data feeds from different data sources and by processing information out of the data sets.

Categories of prominent types of ICCCs:

In India there are three types of Command and Control Centres are functioning:

• Command and Control Centres dedicated for each functional requirement like (Safety, Mobility, Traffic, Disposal of Solid waste, Disbursement of e Gov services, emergency response centres). Each line department or the Urban Local Body (ULB) is the owner of each CCC and the respective department’ head controls the functioning of each CCC. Here the authoritative power and decision making mechanisms lie with departmental head of each department.

• State level centralized command and control centres where centralized visualization screen and storage is built at the State level and each city shares its live data with state level storage system and head of each state takes ownership of decision making. Such CCCs often experience a drawback with regards to the delay in decisions and real time data processing.

• Integrated Command and Control Centres at City level where all line department will sit and control operations of entire city under one roof on a daily basis. DM or Commissioner is the owner of the infrastructure and able to take immediate decisions in case of any emergency and disaster like scenario which is very helpful in day to day operations through action oriented SoPs.

As per my point of view third type of ICCC is the most successful category of the Command and Control Centers where city level co-ordination is best with each line department which can share their day to day issues with each other, take individual or collective decisions at city level for the benefit to citizens. The data flow, response time from local storage can be much faster as compared to other two types of ICCC models. In case of emergency, flood or any disaster these type III ICCC may act as brain for the entire city for taking any cognitive and non-cognitive decisions. This facilitates’ the DM or Commissioner to access all powers to control entire city systems under one roof.

These Integrated command and control centers can be used for enhancing collaboration among various line departments, increasing situational awareness, reducing response time, better grievance handling system and ready for handling emergency or disaster like situations.

Benefits of City ICCC: In the  era of Smart cities, the real time information and data can be used for Big data analytics, Sentiments analysis, Video analytics, predictive analysis, better visualization on GIS Map Artificial Intelligence (AI) for reducing response time. Such ICCC formation can provide better technically supported city operations, better field force management, reduce response time, better grievances handling, dash boarding for city administration, forecasting, proactive policing and better decision support system.

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