In a bid to improve the connectivity between areas and increase development, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority(MMRDA) commissioner, Ratnakar Gaikwad, has decided to introduce the concept of ´smart cities´ for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). If this plan takes off, soon there will be virtual classrooms across schools in the MMR, where students will learn from a single teacher sitting at a central point. Primary health care workers, sitting in village hospitals across the MMR, will be able to get real-time instructions from doctors sitting in a central hospital.
For this, the MMRDA will tie-up with the international Information Technology major, Cisco.
Gaikwad, who recently visited Shanghai for an Infrastructure expo, where he learnt about the company said, « The company has created a smart city connected through the Internet two hours away from Seoul in South Korea. Even Trichur, in Karnataka, has a similar project. The MMR has many villages that fall under the tribal area and are often cut-off from the rest of the developed region. Cisco will be primarily offering their services for the development of such villages ».
To begin with, a pilot project will be implemented in areas where schools do not have teachers and people have to travel far to get basic healthcare. The initiative, Gaikwad said will be part of CISCO´s corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the expenses for setting up the system will be borne by Pune-based Science and Technology Park.