Visitors to VOC Park can now enjoy WiFi connectivity free of cost, thanks to the presence of a “golden tree” or “smart tree”. The initiative by the Coimbatore Corporation, at a total cost of Rs 30 lakh under the Smart Cities programme, is under public-private partnership mode.
According to a press release from the civic body, from 7 am to 9.30 pm the public can get unlimited WiFi access sitting within 30 sq m radius around the tree. There are 30 chairs under it for the public to access the facility. Plug points have been provided to recharge mobile phones, laptops, and other electronic gadgets. CCTV cameras will be installed for 24x7 surveillance.
Power requirement for the entire area around the tree is from solar energy. Arrangements have also been made for uninterrupted power supply. It was proposed by the government to rent out the space on hourly basis for a nominal fee for holding meetings or small get-together. Such WiFi trees will be commissioned at 25 locations in the city. The government is expected to earn annually Rs 18.25 lakh from the 25 trees, including Rs 73,000 for the Corporation. Meanwhile, similar facilities were planned near SITRA and Gandhipuram bus stand in the next phase.