Birgunj, December 12, 2017: The industrial gate of Nepal, Birgunj, is prepared to have all of its details in the Google map. The campaign started on Sunday, November 24 for Google mapping of major locations of the city, as well as the process of facilitating online payments in the metropolis. The idea of developing Birgunj as a ‘Smart City’ included the idea of putting the public places, hospitals, roads, bus parks, school, colleges and major other important places of Birgunj Metropolis in the Google map.
In spite of being the youngest metropolitan city of Nepal, Birgunj will be the first one to have such digital facilities in such a short time. The idea of smart city was the strategy of Vijay Kumar Sarawagi, mayor of Birgunj. Along with him, other political parties had the same agenda in the last election, but there has been no real study on basic infrastructure criteria, international practice, and costs regarding the same.
Training was conducted as a part of the campaign and more than two hundred housewives of Birgunj witnessed the information session about the online bill payments and google mapping. IT experts from Kathmandu were the instructors in the training. Along with that, it has also been informed that every ward offices of the metropolis will be connected online, making it possible to carry out all the works digitally and using the software provided by the government to the local body. Mayor Sarawagi has also informed that works are in pipeline to launch ‘Know Your Birgunj’ initiative shortly.
Similarly, in collaboration with Khalti.com, a premium Digital Wallet for online payment, electricity and water bill payment services are available. Amit Agrawal, Co-Founder of Khalti cited, “Anyone can register for Khalti simply with a mobile number, and even those not taking any e-banking services can make online bill payments using Khalti.”
According to Agrawal, residents of Birgunj will be trained on Digital and Financial literacy, free use of Wikipedia, paying internet bill from home and attending online courses in the coming days too.
“As Birgunj is a big town, Digital Birgunj is not possible through our initiative only. For the same, we have involved Police, Civil Society, Local Rotaract Clubs, Women Committees, and Birgung Chamber of Commerce and Industries among others,” said Agrawal.
“Within a week, one can see the 360-degree view of Birgunj city, and most of the important places will be found on Google map,” Agrawal added.
Green City Community Police Center, Women’s Creation, Lions Club, Rotary and Rotaract Clubs, National Infotech College, Wikipedia Community, Birgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industries, and local Birgunj people have been working to make Birgunj a digital city.
By: Kabita Sen