Ever since Raipur was announced as one of the smart cities, there has been a lot of talk around what ‘smart’ truly means. And it means many things, each as important as the other. From ‘smart governance’ that talks of city management, to ‘smart economics’ that put the customer and digital innovation at the center, to ‘smart mobility’ that makes it simpler and smoother to travel across the city, to ‘smart lifestyles’ that aim to improve the standard of living across every strata of society. It is a cleaner Raipur, a greener Raipur, a safer Raipur and a better Raipur all rolled into one neat package. Smart Raipur means different things to different people – but essentially it reflects an aspiration of the city and its people to become better – to come in the league of the best. This notion of smartness of course, comes from the citizens’ passionate desire that the city should be second to none.
Raipur is in the process of redesigning its Smart City initiatives so that they are powered by the people they affect. This means involvement of people in all the 3Ps – Planning – Performing – Preserving. Planning is when you think about how to do it – Performing is when the project starts affecting the ground and the results start flowing in and the Preservation bit ensures that the efforts of what we do – lasts longer than us.
To achieve this seemingly behemoth task, Raipur has undertaken numerous ‘smart’ initiatives over time and across different categories of function that aims to create a holistic impact on the people.
In an effort to make the city more digitally empowered, Raipur Smart City Limited launched the One Raipur Smart Card. Under the Smart City Mission and a joint venture with Axis Bank, this project will be a one-of-its-kind initiative amongst smart cities across the country. This open loop contactless prepaid card will be made available to the citizens of Raipur, which will enable them easy and simplified access to pay for various services like municipal fees, bus tickets, parking tickets, online bill payments, even regular retail payments, and more. The Raipur Smart Card Project aims to transform the city into a unified digitally empowered society of modern day India.
In order to enable easy registration and access to this card for the citizen of Raipur, more than 100 card issuance and top-up centres will be opened in the city over a period of time, to facilitate hassle-free issuance and top ups. These centres will accept applications for this card and they would be issued on the spot after document verification. Alternatively, citizens will also be able to apply and top up their cards through the One Raipur app. This smart card will later be linked to all Smart City projects across the city for online payment purposes.
The core purpose is to make digital payments quicker and simpler. It will enable digital transactions like payment of taxes and other municipal payments as well as be used for regular retail payments, just like any other bank card. This card will be unique for every card-holder and imbibe a sense of pride in the owner of this card. Every citizen of Raipur can avail the benefits of this One Raipur Smart Card irrespective of their income levels, social status or financial condition. Since this card is not directly linked to the bank account of the card-holder, this will ensure a greater level of safety for the card-holder’s money, even in case the card is lost. Using and recharging this card will be extremely simple as well.
For citizens to get this card, all they have to do is complete their KYCs as defined by the Reserve Bank, i.e. through their Aadhaar Card and an easy documentation process. Since this card will be made available to everyone, people from the lower economic section of society who are not able to use debit or credit cards will specially benefit from this and become a part of the digital economy and online transaction system. All payments at the Municipal Corporation would also be enabled via this “One Raipur Smart Card.”
A key feature of this Smart Card is that using this card, citizen can earn “loyalty points” that will give them access to various upgrades as well as discounts at various local merchants in the city including Cafes, restaurants, retail shops, car service, Boutiques, etc. A web portal is also being designed by Axis bank, which the citizen can access in Hindi as well as English, in order to speed up their digital transaction processes. This will also enable people to find all the information they need and resolve queries in case they have some.
With the launch of this One Raipur Smart Card, Raipur Smart City aims at reinforcing the feeling of ‘Mor Raipur, Mor Card’ among the people. Raipur Smart City and the Municipal Corporation encourages all citizens to avail of this card and enjoy the benefits that the card brings.