Pune: Pimpri-Chinchwad Smart City Initiative Falls Short, Wi-Fi Implemented in Only Two Out of 270 Promised Locations

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Pimpri, 10th November 2023: Despite plans to implement Wi-Fi facilities in 270 locations under the Pimpri-Chinchwad Smart City initiative, only 124 places have been connected with the Wi-Fi system. The implementation of Wi-Fi has been limited to just two locations: the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation and Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital. The Smart City project has faced challenges in extending the Wi-Fi system to other areas.

With the vision of a Digital India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, various government systems are transitioning to digital platforms. As part of the PAN City initiative, Pimpri-Chinchwad Smart City aimed to provide Wi-Fi facilities at 270 locations to enhance administrative processes for citizens and streamline internal administration tasks. The envisioned ecosystem included digital kiosks, message boards, smart meters, smart bins, smart poles, smart emergency vehicles, and services for city residents.

The integration of PCMC buildings, hospitals, regional offices, schools, and STP centres into the central control and command centre in Nigdi necessitates Wi-Fi connectivity across all these locations. The Wi-Fi infrastructure is designed to enable efficient operations from the control and command centre, facilitating online administrative tasks for citizens visiting municipal offices, hospitals, and schools. The data for these services is made available through City WiFi.

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While the previous municipal commissioner claimed that Wi-Fi network connections for 125 places out of 270 were completed in 2021, the Smart City initiative has only managed to launch Wi-Fi in two locations: YCM Hospital and the Municipal Building. Some complaints have surfaced regarding the complexity of using Wi-Fi data, leading to a lack of response from users.

The current Wi-Fi facilities, available on three floors between YCM Hospital and the PCMC Building, serve 1000 to 1500 citizens daily. Users receive 2 GB of free data, and plans are underway to increase this allocation to 5 GB, according to Chief Information and Technology Officer Neelkanth Poman.