Smart Cities

Implementing a Circular Bus Service in the Kandy City

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Kandy City is facing an issue of traffic jam and the air pollution which are critical issues faced by the citizens. This is mainly due to the high number of vehicles entering the city. The transportation facilities which are unable to meet the required standards makes people use their own vehicles even for short-distance commutes, which increases this congestion.

If a circular bus service can be implemented in the city, this will decrease the number of vehicles entering the city. The vehicle parking facility fulfilled through the municipal council car park was not enough to meet the demand which finally made citizens get permission to park their vehicles in the wide streets which occupied a considerable space of the city streets. The implementation of circular bus service will definitely be a pretty good solution for the town area.

The main two roads which enable people to enter the city from the Peradeniya side are Sirimavo Bandaranayake Mawatha and William Gopallawa Mawatha which are running parallel to each other and having high traffic conditions. The former Governor of the Central Province Mr Maithree Gunarathne took steps to make the roads one-way roads for like two weeks which was a failure and was later renounced. The circular bus service will be a solution for the traffic conditions on these roads too.

~ Madhurya Kirindigoda

Government Policy on Physical Development

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Sri Lanka needs a policy on ‘Physical Development’ for the country. We have seen that during the previous government, there was a ‘facelift’ in Colombo and its suburbs. While appreciating it, I would like to see that happens all over the island with a ‘theme’ or a ‘concept’. For an example, the Singaporean concept of, City in a Garden; Singapore has a land-use plan developed with the help of UN Experts during the early 1970 s’ and it is followed and improved upon from time to time.

We need to identify activity zones which UDA has done to a certain extent. However, it has not covered the island and it is not followed strictly. For an example, all government institutes in the Western Province should be relocated to Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte, but it has not happened.

Just having a concept is not sufficient; law enforcement, providing land areas, and supportive infrastructure are needed. Professional bodies, universities, university students, experts in the industry should work together to make this possible. We also need strict regulations on construction and standards, and a institute to regulate it.

We should also have a land policy; rather than having few storied buildings alone, (even for residential buildings) we could go for high-rise combined with other infrastructure linked with those.

~ Madhangi Alwis


Centralised Patients’ Database

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In Sri Lanka, most of the government hospitals, private hospitals, clinics and private consultations maintain their own patients records. These same patients in the future will access more than one place on different occasions, but the diagnosis and the medication history may not be taken into proper consultation.

Elderly people might not provide proper history details and the medications followed due to poor memory. Some may have allergies to certain medications and may not provide accurate information to another doctor. This may put their life in great risk.

Therefore, I propose to introduce centralised system to store all patient details and provide access across hospitals and clinics. These hospitals and clinics should sign an agreement with Ministry of Health to safeguard personal data security and the details of patients.

During new patient registration, it is best to obtain written permission to share personal information across all health sectors. We can use digital identity cards to store and scan during consultation to access medical history records.

This initiative will provide more clarity about the patient to the doctors and also minimise errors.

~ Asitha Kalinga Bulathsinghala


Discipline of Private & SLTB Bus Staff

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Discipline of mainly private buses is utter disappointing. They never care about the law. Even they get caught by the police & because various reasons, they get free and continue the same.

Strict decisions need to be taken by the legal authorities for such private buses and need to make sure that they are not behind the wheels of a bus until they get the real punishment.

~ Hasanka De Silva


Create Elder Day Care Centres in Every City

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The aging population in Sri Lanka will be a big issue in coming years. In our society, children used to care for the elderly parents. However, this has become a challenge for them; they are busy with earning living and taking care of their own children as well. We have a very poor elder support systems implemented so far.

In some countries, there are elder day-care centers available just like toddler day care centers. Elders are kept in such places during the day time with good care and children take them back home after work. Apart from the care they are given in those places, elders will have peers to interact, which is a pressing issue of this age.

It would be wise decision to implement elder care centers in Sri lanka too.

~ Madhangi Alwis


Safer Roads

By | Causes, Education, Emerging Industries, Smart Cities | One Comment

More people die on roads than during war, and probably more people get permanently disabled from road accidents.

There seem to be various factors that result in valuable young human lives being lost on roads, and therefore we need to implement measures to make roads safer for all.

1. The starting point is driver, rider education.
People wear helmets to evade police!
People wear seat belts to evade police!
We need to invest a lot on the driver, rider education to educate them on safety measures. Other countries have TV commercials on such education. Further, although there were a number of expressways opened, I have not seen a comprehensive driver education on how to use them. Why we need to keep a safe distance, why you need to use turn signals when changing lanes etc.

2. The other most important factor is to improve driver, rider moral values.
At the end of the day, we all want to arrive at the destination safely. If you give way, you will be given way. It doesn’t have to be a battle in the roads, honking at even the slightest mistakes. Other countries usually have good gestures to thank helping fellow road users. The attitude of helping others goes a long way than we think. This needs to be implemented through Learners and also public awareness programs. Probably this should be the #1 measure because a lot of things fall in the correct place if we fix this.

3. Driving schools (Learners) should be properly managed, reviewed and evaluated yearly. They should enforce a very strict syllabus which includes moral value educations also. All road accidents should be tracked back to the driving schools, and statistically analyzed to improve/ban failing driving schools.

3. Make roads safer.
We need to have a proper road maintenance unit, which should patrol heavily used roads to check on safety. For example, there are visibility issues at certain road sections and there are accidents daily and nobody does anything. This unit should have a mechanism to lodge complaints and suggestions.

4. Stop importing unsafe vehicles.
There should be a strict standard that does not change from government to government to stop the import of unsafe vehicles. (Probably the most unsafe are the three-wheels, but that is a bigger rooted problem because it is not actually a vehicle, it is a “job” in Sri Lanka. This can only be prevented by improving public transport and the job market for young simultaneously).

5. Make existing vehicles safer.
Almost all tractors have no tail lights, the tippers, and big lorries which stop roadside do not have parking lights, etc. Police should be given enough training to stop and fine these.

6. Greener roads.
I’ve seen that even in countries heavily commercialized like Singapore has a surprisingly large number of trees planted alongside roads. This helps a lot to the nature and helps to reduce driver stress etc.

May all people arrive at their destination safely and comfortably!

~ Gayan Dasanayake


Performance Management for Government Ministers

By | Causes, Education, National Security, Smart Cities | No Comments

Each government minister must be given a set of measurable, KPI based targets (goals, projects and/or rankings) that need to be achieved within a given time period. Failure to meet these targets must be met with performance management or potential penalties. Likewise, achievement of these targets must also be met with rewards such as an extension of their ministry duration.

This enables numerous benefits to the country and lessens government corruption. it will also motivate efficient and capable MPs to become ministers, while the country will be developed at a higher rate.

~ Damith Perera


Facilitate Start-Up Businesses

By | Causes, Education, Emerging Industries, Smart Cities, Technological Integration | No Comments

Knowledgeable individuals graduate from universities each year, but they don’t have suitable careers to use their knowledge. Some graduates dream to start a new business, but they don’t have enough money and faculties.

If the government can take action for this kind of graduates by facilitating their research, they will be able to develop new technologies.

~ Lakshan Madhuranga