A brand new ‘Smart City New Town app’ will be launched to ensure residents and visitors of New Town get easy access of locations and keep track of events and services.
The app will be developed by West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) – the organisation which plans and executes development projects in New Town.
Selected among the Smart Cities in the list rolled out by the Union Ministry of Urban Development, New Town has been a major point of attraction for tourists across the nation and world.
The app will provide citizens and tourists in New Town information about all the places of interest, along with relevant details of those places.
Using the app, user can locate any address, view bus schedules, and buy books from the digital library.
They will also be able to book tables and cottages at Cafe Ekante.
Through the app, users can also listen to ‘audio tours’ about various places of interest. All the features have been mentioned in the app.
Authorities said that the idea is to have a mobile app to spread awareness among the residents and outsiders about the various happening places in New Town, locations of those places, guides to reach there, information about the events happening at places like Eco Park, Rabindra Tirtha, Nazrul Tirtha and many others.
Meanwhile, many services in New Town have now been digitised.
Payment for many products and services can now be done via e-wallets. The demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes by the Centre, fortunately, did not disrupt many services in New Town and tourists were at ease.
HIDCO officials said that debit and credit cards are accepted through POS (point of sale) machines at places like Cafe Ekante, New Town Business Club, Nazrul Tirtha and Mother’s Wax Museum.
A popular show booking website enables visitors to buy tickets for movies at Nazrul Tirtha and theatres in Rabindra Tirtha.
Moreover, a major e-wallet company is operational at Eco Park, Mother’s Wax Museum, Cafe Ekante and Nazrul Tirtha.
Tourists can even book Ekante Cottages through its website and transfer payments through internet banking.
Meanwhile New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) is planning to make available all applications for the 100 residential plots online, and provide net-banking facility for depositing application money.
Besides, payment to several agencies is being done through the real-time gross settlement systems (RTGS) and other net-banking options.
For the Smart City New Town app, various other developments will be incorporated. The app can be downloaded in Android and iOS devices.
“HIDCO is pondering over creating a digital library as well. We are discussing the matter with the concerned departments,” said Debasis Sen, Chairman, HIDCO.