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LAHORE: A multinational telecommunication company, Nokia, has entered into an agreement with the Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA) for setting up a pilot project of ‘Smart City’ in Lahore.

“During an event held at the Pakistan Pavilion of Expo 2020 in Dubai on Sunday, the PSCA successfully signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nokia for launching of a pilot project of Smart City in Lahore,” said a spokesperson for the PSCA.

He said the agreement was signed between the Nokia’s country head and Punjab Minister for Industries, Commerce, Investment and Skill Development Mian Aslam Iqbal. He said the minister was accompanied by Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht, PSCA Chief Operating Officer Muhammad Kamran Khan and Chief Technology Officer Tariq Malik.

Sharing details of the agreement, an official source, who wished not to be named, said that Nokia will install ‘heat sensors’ in certain parts of the provincial capital for real time monitoring of law and order, traffic and environment related issues.

He said that these sensors would be directly linked to the satellite through which the authority would be able to monitor and detect if someone was carrying weapons during law and order situations. “Similarly, these sensors would also help us ascertaining the level of pollution which ultimately leads to smog,” he added.

Declining to point out the specific location, the source further disclosed that the PSCA and Nokia using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology would jointly establish a signal tower somewhere on Mall Road for the connectivity of the sensors.

Keeping in view developments taking place around the world and citizen centric policing, the PSCA and Nokia will work jointly and bring further improvements to the Google Map so that the citizens could know the “exact” cause of traffic congestions, how long it would take to clear roads and best possible alternate routes besides so many other features, the source said.

“As per the agreement, Nokia would bear the entire cost of the project,” the official said, adding that the authority will only provide a few personnel to the company and an office at PSCA’s headquarters.

A smart city uses Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve operational efficiency, share information with the public and provide a better quality of government service and citizen welfare.

The main goal of a smart city is to optimise city functions and promote economic growth while also improving the quality of life for citizens by using smart technologies and data analysis.

A city’s smartness is determined using a set of characteristics, including an infrastructure based around technology, environmental initiatives, effective and highly functional public transportation, confident and progressive city plans, and people able to live and work within the city, using its resources.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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