Managing the high level of urbanisation has made it imperative for the government to resort to smart concepts and solutions. For India, this has resulted in the identification and planning of 100 smart cities.
With urbanisation at its peak in India, a challenge is a great way for cities to get smart - quite literally. On the premise that a bit of competition never hurt anybody, the Smart Cities mission launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month, along with the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), called for the selection of potential candidates based on a two-stage competition, the ´City Challenge´. Endorsing the need for such a competition among states to ensure efficient planning and economic sustainability, Pratap Padode, Founder-Director, Smart Cities Council India, says, ¨The Smart Cities mission and AMRUT are likely to infuse a total of Rs 400,000 crore, once integrated with other missions like Digital India, Swachh Bharat, Housing for All, etc.¨
Currently, while 30 per cent of the Indian population resides in urban centres, these centres contribute around 65 per cent to the national GDP, states a recent Deloitte report. It is further projected that urban India will contribute about 75 per cent of the national GDP in the next 15 to 20 years while another 300 million people get added to the existing 300 million dwelling in urban centres. The speed of urbanisation will exert immense pressure on infrastructure, finance, natural resources and quality of life. To relieve some of this pressure, it is imperative for the government to resort to smart concepts and solutions. This, clearly, is one of the drivers of the 100 smart cities concept. ¨The mission will attract huge investments from international companies and even the private sector, which has been shying away from public-private participation,¨ adds Padode.
The Ministry of Urban Development defines a smart city with three vital focus areas: Basic infrastructure; the use of ´smart´ solutions to make infrastructure and services better; and reliance on area-based development. So, which could these cities be? ¨At present, only Lavasa near Pune can be classified as a smart city. Other cities (such as Mumbai and Delhi) are still in the process of upgrading their systems and could qualify as smart in the future,¨ says Kanwaljeet Singh, Business Development, Energy and Smart Cities, Schneider Electric India. ¨Varanasi, Allahabad, Gurgaon and Vizag also stand out as potential smart city candidates in the country.¨
Recently, Cisco has laid down plans to provide networking infrastructure for smart city projects in Navi Mumbai, Pune, Jaipur and Lucknow. This includes services such as street lighting, waste management, and communication through the command-and-control centre or integrated operations centre. ¨We have been talking to these cities about the best way to do this, following which they will come up with their procurement procedures,¨ says Aamer Azeemi, Managing Director, Cisco, adding that the company is in discussion with many cities. ¨We have done the complete smart city planning for four cities in the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor,¨ he shares. These include the greenfield cities of Dholera Special Investment Region in Gujarat, Shendra-Bidkin Mega Industrial Park in Maharashtra, Manesar Bawal Investment Region in Haryana and Khushkhera Bhiwadi Neemrana Investment Region in Rajasthan.
Further, an ambitious plan is being laid by the government to build one smart city each at the country´s 12 major ports, amounting to a total investment of about Rs 50,000 crore. Moreover, with Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai to be turned into a smart business hub, five more such smart hubs are being planned in the city.
Technology, which is essential to deliver civic services efficiently, lies at the heart of this transformation. It enables the integration of government departments, planning processes, information from various sources, and the creation of an intelligent and interconnected network of infrastructure services. ¨All this means influx of data and terabytes,¨ says Rajiv Saxena, Director-Sales, India Public Sector, Commercial and SAARC, NetApp India Pvt Ltd.
¨To manage staggering amounts of structured and unstructured data, the government needs to put in place robust storage architecture to help departments organise data on the basis of sensitivity of information, importance and accessibility.¨
In the context of smart cities, where virtually everything involves data, the significance of storage is immense.
¨A storage system can help ensure non-disruptive access to data, which is critical for government functions,¨ says Philips Ranjit, Director-Cloud Business, NetApp India Pvt Ltd. ¨As we progress further into implementing plans for smart cities, more decision-makers will realise the need to leverage multiple Cloud solutions and architectures (including hybrid Clouds) to meet their dynamic business and technology challenges.¨ The hybrid Cloud model will allow agencies to maintain control of data while maximising Cloud computing economics such as money saving through shared services, improved security, robust infrastructure and operational efficiencies.
Highlighting IT as a key enabler of smart cities, Lux Rao, CTO & Leader, HP Future Cities, says, ¨Cities that are future-ready will ride on a robust IT framework. It is a key enabler and will ensure the whole gamut of citizen engagement, ranging from delivery of services, information for all and ongoing dialogue with citizens to monitoring the metrics.¨
Undoubtedly, ICT will be the difference between an ordinary city and a smart one. Dr Sumit D Chowdhury, Founder, Gaia Smart Cities, says, ¨We anticipate that anywhere between 5 per cent and 15 per cent of the project cost should be kept aside for pure hardware, network and software technologies, and another 5 per cent for the analysis and use of the data in everyday operations, which will be part of the business.¨
Utilities and solutions
There are two components to any smart city: Physical infrastructure and software. Every city, from ancient times to now, has required roads, water, power, parks, security, transportation, shopping, food production, and services of different types for its citizens. What has changed is that all these facilities can now be designed using analysis of data (See infographics on page 56). Therefore, you get smarter roads where traffic lights are coordinated with the amount of traffic and smarter water by measuring the amount of water being consumed and then planning how much to buy, how much to clean and purify, and how much to store and distribute. While smarter power and the fine granular measurement can improve load factors and reduce electricity cost, smarter grids for electricity distribution improve the resiliency of power networks. Additionally, smarter transportation, agriculture and services can be possible by backing every decision with data collection and analytics.
This considered, the benefits building information modelling (BIM) offers at various stage are proven. ¨It can play a significant role to make smart cities a success,¨ affirms Sonali Dhopte, Director, Excelize. She highlights some goals for BIM adoption or implementation in smart cities:
Traffic is a persistent concern in cities that require a radical approach. In this regard, Ashwin Natarajan, Founder & CEO, SMIDER, tells us, SMIDER is a device built on proprietary technology that enables traffic management authorities to reduce congestion times by routing traffic into alternate routes or allows for an increase in lanes of the existing road network to smooth the flow of traffic. As the device can be installed as a standalone unit on a divider or on the complete length of the divider, it can work to route traffic or increase road capacity without building expensive flyovers or underpasses.¨
Internet of Things (IoT) is all about using sensors to capture data, and leveraging on data analytics to bring about the efficiency or smartness. And Mayank Manish, CEO, Infrovate Consulting and Solutions Pvt Ltd, says that Infrovate has those sensors and the technology. He says that the company´s expertise lies in sustainable and secure RFID-based offerings and their intelligent implementation. ¨RFID is a type of a sensor and we build on that capability of sensors - build the data analytics platform where data is captured by the sensors and allow the cities to take smart decisions - whichever areas these are used in.¨ How does this help? It makes the eco-system become more efficient, controlled, secure and of course makes the setup smarter! Energy savings and smarter control of lighting is another crucial factor.
¨This has opened a new window of opportunities in street, high-mast lighting and all high-power lighting applications,¨ says Rahul Sapre, CEO, Elle Green Lighting. ¨The lights we manufacture have state-of-the-art technology to enable users to control them remotely and ensure power savings for years of operations.¨ As interactive features are the key to make any product usable in smart applications, this will help users reduce cost while gaining operational control.
Greenfield vs. retrofitting
Establishing greenfield smart cities is a long-term plan and the effect will be felt only in the next 20 years. However in India, a huge opportunity also lies in retrofitting existing cities - brownfield cities - and connecting them for the first time to the information grid.
When asked to choose between the two, Azeemi answers, ¨India needs a mix of both.¨ He adds that greenfield projects are fairly straightforward as you don´t have legacy challenges. But one cannot build a whole lot of greenfield projects because of various issues, including availability of land. He also agrees that the bigger challenge and opportunity is in making existing cities smart as the bulk of the population today lives in them.
Sharing her take, Sandhya Godey, Principal Consultant, Phoenix IT Solutions Pvt Ltd, says, ¨Greenfield projects are easier than retrofitting because a greenfield smart city can be developed as per what you want, unlike retrofitting where compromises need to be made considering city limitations.¨ However, she is confident that both opportunities will yield good results. We couldn´t agree more.
All considered, while challenges of execution still exist in major infrastructure projects in India, the smart cities concept is a promising one that has the support of the government and all stakeholders. With the government releasing guidelines seeking better execution of projects (see guidelines on page 50),
CW spoke to leading stakeholders to come up with suggestions to make smart cities a success in India:
¨States have been allotted with the number of cities that can be made smart.¨
Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu shares a brief on schemes for both Smart Cities and AMRUT with CW.
¨Prior to launching the schemes, we have worked out the details, guidelines have been prepared, states have been taken into confidence, discussions have been held with various stakeholders and then it has received approval from the Cabinet. There will be competition across the country in the form of a city ´challenge´ system, with guidelines for how many cities a state can propose as well. The proposed city will be assessed on its capacity, population, revenue, employment ratio, sanitation, solid waste management, provision for drinking water, electricity, transportation, education and other existing facilities along with credit ratings. Keeping all this in mind, especially the population, the states have been allotted with the number of cities that can be made smart. While a total of 100 cities are being planned, the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh have more cities considering their urban population. Also, countries like the US, Japan and France have come forward to give technical support. Other countries are also showing interest with regard to joining smart cities projects through PPP. We are going to involve them in a big way because smart cities require huge investment, which will come from internal as well as external sources.¨
Venkaiah Naidu Union Urban Development Minister
South India´s SmartCity Kochi
SmartCity Kochi´s first phase is in progress and nearing completion. The project plan takes into account economic, social and environmental sustainability and seeks to create over 90,000 direct jobs by 2020. Baju George, Managing Director-Operations, SmartCity, SmartCity Kochi, tells us more.
Narendra Modi´s GIFT to India
GIFT city, spread over 886 acre, has a total built-up area of about 62 million sq ft, of which Phase-I includes 10 million sq ft, Phase-II 22 million sq ft and Phase-III 30 million sq ft till 2020-22. Phase-I of the infrastructure rollout is on the verge of completion. Nilesh Purey, Head-ICT, GIFT City, tells us more.
Mission-wise guidelines seeking better execution of projects for Smart Cities and AMRUT
The Central Government has radically overhauled the operational guidelines for implementation of Smart Cities and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).
SMART CITIES MISSION
Smart Building Score
Smart cities embraces so many factors that include smart mobility, smart water and waste management, smart economy, smart governance, smart people, smart living and smart buildings. With the role of buildings being redefined from a static environment to a more dynamic and interactive space, Honeywell and EY have developed a Smart Building Score. This is a universal framework for quick, comprehensive, and easy assessment of any building in terms of its smartness. Fifteen smart elements in each building are rated on their green, safe and productive outcomes, based on predefined parameters of capability, coverage and uptime. The score is an average of three outcomes: Green, Safe and Productivity. The Honeywell Smart Building Score was applied for the first time in over 2,000 buildings across eight Indian cities to validate the tool, and assess a building´s smartness. The survey covered 10 key building verticals: Airports, hotels, hospitals, private offices, retail, surface transport, government offices, education and social spaces, public services, and residential. These buildings are located in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Pune.
(For the key findings of the survey, log on to www.ConstructionWorld.in/webx)
Shaping up Bhendi Bazaar the Smart Way
Steeped in history and culture, Bhendi Bazaar, a 150-year-old area in Mumbai, is at a point of appalling urban decay. There was an urgent need for a makeover; the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) stepped forward to provide this through a cluster redevelopment scheme. The ambitious redevelopment project comprises 16.5 acre, has 280 CS nos. decrepit buildings, 3,200 families and 1,250 shops. Abbas Master, CEO, SBUT, tells us more.
India´s New Destination: Naya Raipur
The master plan is from 2009 to 2031 and Phase I is nearing completion. Almost 8,000 hectare have been acquired; 126 km of roads are almost done; and sewerage, water supply, electricity, around 10,000 houses in the private and government sectors, and stadiums, hospitals, and educational institutions are under construction. N Baijendra Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary to Chief Minister, Housing & Environment, Government of Chhattisgarh, Raipur and Chairman, Naya Raipur Development Authority, tells us more.