Kalyan Dombivali in Maharashtra’s Thane district and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh have been named joint winners of the Covid Innovation Award given out by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, a civic official said on Friday. The selection criteria was mainly based on the quality and innovative work carried out by smart cities during the first wave of coronavirus pandemic.
For the competition, The Smart Kalyan Dombivali Development Corporation Limited had submitted nominations under ‘Covid-19 Innovative Award’ on the behalf of Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC). The final shortlisted cities were Kalyan-Dombivali, Varanasi, Vadodara and Agra of which Kalyan-Dombivali and Varanasi were announced as joint winners by Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in Delhi on Friday.
Speaking on the achievement, KDMC chief Vijay Suryavanshi said the award has been won due to the commitment of numerous doctors, paramedical staff, health department employees, NGOs and elected representatives etc.
“I am very happy that despite limited resources available with us, our entire civic staff fights against Covid-19 in a very innovative way and the central government has appreciated our efforts by honouring us with an award which will motivate us in future too to fight Covid-19,” he said.
Congratulations to @KDMCOfficial on winning covid innovation award at India Smart Cities Awards 2020 competition. Listen to the Commissioner talk about innovative strategies implemented by them to fight the pandemic. pic.twitter.com/O1CTttwumm— Mihir Trivedi (@mihirz) June 26, 2021
He further said that in the first wave of Covid-19, the KDMC had set up a ‘Private Doctors’ Army of the Indian Medical Association (IMA)’ that gave free service at dedicated Covid-19 hospitals. The KDMC provided a real-time patient information on its portal. It started a ‘Family Doctor Covid-19 Fighter Campaign’ to distribute antigen testing kits to physicians across the city for free testing of patients because it was seen residents believe in their family doctors.
Moreover, the KDMC also live-streamed talent programmes of citizens during the coronavirus-induced lockdown on its Facebook page too, he added.
As per a PIB release, the Innovation award for Covid-19 management was given under the India Smart Cities Awards 2020, and this theme connected to the outbreak was added along with tradition ones like social aspects, governance, culture, urban environment etc for the first time.