Port city adopts smart city plans to align with developed countries

Sumaiya Nehla Saif, Chittagong Community Manager
Chittagong, 23 May 2016

The port city of Chittagong accounts for more than ninety percent of international trade of Bangladesh and is as popular as the capital since it is the primary business hub. Just like the capital, Chittagong is also facing explosive growth and requires contemporary sustainable development approach to make the city more livable for its dwellers and keep up with its fast pace growth.

Although Chittagong does not lack in terms of resources, it has been relatively slow to incorporate technology in its development solutions. With the advent of the conception of smart cities, Chittagong also aims to implement technology-driven and sustainable development solutions.

The Mayor of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC), AJM Nasir Uddin, expressed immense interest to collaborate with international agencies and chalk out plans to make Chittagong a smart city by having city-wide Wi-Fi, installing IP cameras and LED lights. The Mayor will collaborate with a Danish delegation and use Danish technology and funding to implement the plan. The funding from Danish government will endure for ten years and without interest. Further actors include private companies, Hasel Light Company and Eficaz Group of Denmark that will help supply necessary instruments to carry out the plan. It is expected to be implemented within its intended time period of ten years as well as its project proposal die to its strong backing by important figures such as Hasel Light representative Karsten Lindorff, Daniel Olsker, Eficaz Company representatives Dr Ronnyie Byram, Dragoljub Petri, Eficaz Group Managing Director Rashed Bin Sattar, Eficaz CFO Md Waji Ullah, Chittagong Development Authority Board Member Yunus Gani Chowdhury, CCC Councilors Gias Uddin, Shaibal Das Suman, Chief Executive Officer Kazi Shafiul Alam, Secretary Rashid Ahmed, CCC Mayor’s Personal Secretary Manjurul Islam, Superintendent Engineer Md Mahfuzul Hoque, CCC assistant engineers Jhulan Dash and Jamal Uddin. The master-plan will also be based on strong recommendations and proposals of said officials and relevant actors from the private sector will also be invited to contribute to this estimated six billion project, piloting by June 2016.

Alongside this initiative to put LED lights, Wi-Fi and IP cameras, Chittagong is also involved in other initiatives that incorporate a smart city approach indicated at improving the sewerage and drainage system which are being funded by the World Bank. This means that smart city is a well instituted idea on the agenda of important development practitioners, policymakers and government actors of Chittagong city and even though these are pilot projects and just starting out – once successfully implemented, can fare significant results in improving lives of the city dwellers. This specific project that involves LED lights, Wi-Fi and IP cameras, itself can improve security, communication and visibility that will aid trade at the port coupled with benefits for the common people. It is commendable that Chittagong is acting fast to be abreast with cities in developed countries and ensure good work to help the port city develop to be a smart city.

Photo: Denny Bell

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