ICT Applications in Disaster Resilience in a Smart City in Colombo Area of Sri Lanka
Public policy on Smart City, in terms of disaster resilience, is a developing concept in Sri Lanka. To manage disasters in Sri Lanka, several disaster resilience plans have been implemented in collaboration with responsible government bodies. With the purpose of flood mitigation in the Metro Colombo area, a disaster management plan, called “Metro Colombo Urban Development Project” (MCUDP) was initiated in 2012. This plan consists of a sub-project called Real-Time Control System which embeds ICT. The main purpose of this paper is to discuss how the government utilizes advanced ICT applications in disaster resilience in the Colombo area with reference to the Real-Time Control System (RTC). With the use of both secondary data and primary data, the study examines the effectiveness of ICT application in the disaster resilience plan. The data collection was conducted during August 2019 and November 2019. Descriptive methods were used to analyze the data. The Real-Time Control system in the Colombo area has not succeeded as intended due to improper utilization of ICT in disaster resilience. Other drawbacks are; the same data is processed by various authorities, lack of free data sharing policies and lack of free data dissemination. To make a Colombo area a Smart City, a proper disaster resilience system needs to be initiated. For that, all planned activities should be implemented without any delay and the Municipalities should be the central coordination point. Also, a proper early warning system, a free data sharing policy with a proper monitoring system must be established, all parties should also collaborate with government agencies, and continuous training must be provided to the relevant officials.
Keywords: Smart City, Disaster Resilience, Real-Time Control System, Sri Lanka.