An Indian IT company is looking to create a smart village in the eastern province along with the Eastern Provincial Council, a first such initiative in the region.
CEO, Inspriedge, Sumit Bothra who met the Chief Minister, Eastern Province, Nasser Ahamed in Batticaloe yesterday said that they are now in the process of identifying a small village and clearing the red tape. This is not a huge investment but what is needed is to get the IT infrastructure in to place.
He said that the idea in this regard was first talked at the Invest in East forum which was held in Colombo late last year. “We then drew up a plan which is now in the implementation stage.”
Explaining further he said that the proposed village will be firstly installed with free WIFI where households would be able to move in to an era where they would be communication more closely via smart phones and tablets.
“Next all government institutions where they have dealings with villages like Water Board, Electricity Board, Municipality would be linked to each other via their existing accounts. “This will enable all villages to pay their bills check their usage all via the smart phones. We hope the banks within this proposed Smart village too would use this and create their own platforms to do mobile banking,” he said.
Bothra also said that one of the key points that prompted them to select Sri Lanka was the announcement by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that the government was keen to move in to a digital era.
Taiwanese Dr. Michael Ho, Director, Inspriedge, who is a key partner in this project in India and other countries said that the people can use this technology to get advanced reading on weather patterns and even fishermen could use this technology to identify areas where there is a lot fish and also communicate with buyers. “Basically they catch the fish and before they return they can sell their catch via mobile smart banking,” Ho said. He said that the private sector can join with them and take this technology form them and implement it. They could cover their cost with advertising and also through commissions during transactions of uses. This is now happening all over the world and it’s the future which we are bringing in.”
Ho said with the installation of camera it will also reduce the crime rate, accidents and even a bus time tables could be displayed on bus stations in the future.
Another key area where the proposed smart village could benefit is education.