Mumbai set to become First Wi-Fi Enabled City

Mumbai could soon become India’s first Wi-Fi enabled city in the country, racing ahead of  Bengaluru, which had set off the process by becoming the first Indian city to free public Wi-Fi in January of 2014.

If chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has his way, the government would soon be announcing the completion of a project it had started with a view to create 1,200 Wi-Fi hotspots in the city of Mumbai. And the launch date could be May next year.

“Mumbai will soon become the first Wi-Fi enabled city in the country. Wi-Fi will enable people to access all the citizen centric services. The Wi-Fi network would also be utilized for providing smart transportation solutions by providing real time updates on the routes and available capacity of various modes of public transport”, Fadnavis said.

Out of 1200 hotspots, 500 will be operational in the first phase by November 2016. It is to be noted that Google Railwire was recently launched Wi-Fi at City’s 8 suburban railway stations. People can access free Wi-Fi on the select railway stations. The Railway ministry in partnership with Google launched the project which will be spread to other railway stations in the country.

The Devendra Fadnavis government is heavily focusing on digital connectivity, infrastructure development and integration of technology in various development projects. The government has announced several crucial initiatives under the Digital Maharashtra project that aims to bring digital revolution in the state.

Speaking at the Hitachi Social Innovation Forum in Mumbai, Fadnavis said that the government was working towards bringing an integrated transport system to transform the entire transportation landscape in the state.

The state government has collaborated with the Government of Japan to create a huge network of Metro in the city. The construction of 30 km underground Metro will begin this year. The government has announced to build an elevated corridor for suburban rail, which will connect CST to Panvel and Churchgate to Virar. Trans-harbor sea link is another ambitious project of the government, which will connect Mumbai with New Mumbai. The 32 km sea bridge is at the stage of contract which will bring down the commute time between South Mumbai and New Mumbai to 15 minutes.

Fadnavis said that the government aims to bring a digital revolution by connecting all its 28000 gram panchayats in 36 districts by 2017-18. The project worth about 35,000 crore involves laying of fibre optic connectivity facilitating e-health, e-education and e-marketing. The pilot project has already been successfully executed in Nagpur where over 770 gram Panchayates have been brought on a digital platform.

Security and surveillance is a core of Smart city. Maharashtra has become the first state to complete the Crime ad Criminal Tracking Network and System (CCTNS) project. CCTNS aims to adopt a paperless working mechanism in every police station. People from any part of the state would now be able to register an online FIR in any police station. The pilot project has already begun in Pune and the same will be rollout in other police stations across the state.

Talking about the ambitious ‘Mumbai Next’ project, Fadnavis said that the government would inaugurate the first Mumbai International Arbitration Centre in next two months. Mumbai Next is an initiative to transform the country’s financial capital into a global financial and entertainment centre.

17-Sep-2016 10:43:04