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To turn data-driven governance from dream to reality, smart cities have taken a leaf out of the corporate playbook. Each of the 100 smart cities is in the process of appointing a chief data officer (or CDO). The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has asked each municipality to build its own “data cell”, appoint departmental “data champions”, and push for “data alliances” under the Smart Cities Mission’s “Data Maturity Assessment Framework”. All these efforts are aimed at improving governance by understanding data and patterns at the city level.

Almost all cities have submitted their self-assessments to the ministry and over Rs 13,000-crore worth of IT and digitisation tenders have been put out so far. When they are up and running, these projects will funnel 2,000 to 6,000 terabytes (TB) of data into the cities’ Integrated Control and Command Centres from CCTV cameras, traffic systems, and water flow sensors, among others.

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