Interviews

Asheesh Singh /
Indore Municipal Commissioner

Indore has become a global model for solid waste management

May 2019
Inheritance, Innovation, Inclusion, Incubation and Investment. That’s the vision for Indore Smart City, an ideal world-class, smart commercial metropolis that thrives on investment opportunities, incubating business and ideas, rich inheritance and inclusive development. “The focus is on sustainable and inclusive development and the idea is to look at compact areas and create a replicable model that will act like a lighthouse for other aspiring cities,” says Asheesh Singh, Commissioner, Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC), and Executive Director, Indore Smart City Development, as he shares more on the corporation and the smart city’s initiatives, in conversation with SERAPHINA D’SOUZA.

Please tell us about the vision for Indore Smart City.

Our plan includes:
Promoting mixed land use in area-based developments—planning for ‘unplanned areas’ containing a range of compatible activities and land use close to one another in order to make land use more efficient. The states will enable some flexibility in land use and building bylaws to adapt to change.
Housing and inclusiveness, to expand housing opportunities for all.
Creating walkable localities to reduce congestion, air pollution and resource depletion, boost local economy, promote interaction and ensure security. The road network is created or refurbished not only for vehicles and public transport but for pedestrians and cyclists, and necessary administrative services are offered within walking or cycling distance.
Preserving and developing open spaces—parks, playgrounds and recreational spaces—to enhance quality of life of citizens, reduce urban heat effect in areas and generally promote an eco-balance.

What are the smart projects initiated so far?  

The city has 29 projects in the DPR stage (including PPP projects) and 25 projects (including PPP) in the tender stage. Further, 76 projects worth Rs 15.18 billion are in progress while 41 projects worth Rs 1.05 billion have already been completed. Eptisa Servicios de Ingeniería S.L., a Spain-based organisation and a pioneer in developing smart cities world-wide, is assisting Indore Smart City Development as its Technical and Administrative Support unit since its inception. 
Besides, re-development projects, parking projects, infrastructure development and other innovative ideas – be it executed through JVs, public-private partnerships (PPP), turnkey contracts, etc, suitably dovetailed with revenue streams, will be the focus from now onwards.

Please update us on recent developments—upcoming projects or tenders to be floated in the city.

We have redevelopment projects coming up under the ABD component in several areas. One project includes the development of multilevel car parking in different locations in the ABD area. Further, a flyover will be coming up at Mhow Naka Square. Widening of the existing river bridge (Subhash Marg Bridge and Krishnapura Bridge) is another project. Other projects include the development of sector parks, improvement in existing parks, rainwater harvesting at 28 prime and strategic locations of Indore in Phase-1 and water huts or water dispensing kiosks at 100 locations.
Also, under smart street lighting works, under Phase-2 of Indore’s Smart City mission, the city will install 16,000 energy-efficient LED street lights with smart controls in the pan-city area. One project includes decorative façade lighting on various heritage monuments and other important squares, junctions and bridges in the ABD and its peripheral area. Another project includes underground cabling works with compact substations for the Bada Ganpati to Krishnapura Chatri (MG Road) and nearby major roads and the Jincy Bus Depot to Rambagh Bridge (Subhash Marg) and nearby major roads in the ABD area.
 
Apart from smart city projects, what are the core infrastructure projects Indore Corporation has planned? 

A revised ABD area master plan has been proposed to re-energise the historic, cultural and economic centre of Indore surrounding Rajwada with smart infrastructure, a mix of activities, improved transit network and restructuring of built forms to economically empower the residents and create a vibrant experience for people moving through the area. The ABD area is about 742 acre or 3 sq km—about 1 per cent of the total municipal area—whereas the area’s current population is 120,012 (2016), about 5 per cent of the total population of the city. With this kind of growth in the central area, core infrastructure has to be given utmost priority to cater to increasing demands in services and traffic.
Currently, Indore Smart City Development has already tendered infrastructure projects for water supply and sewerage at Rs 2.72 billion; 51 km of roads at Rs 2 billion; three major bridges at Rs 240 million; parking on EPC basis (three) at Rs 100 million and on PPP basis at Rs 650 million; electrical cable ducts/central median, underground utilities and street lights at Rs 2.10 billion; river rejuvenation and riverfront development at Rs 690.8 million; improvement in existing infrastructure for place-making and slum areas at Rs 871.7 million; rainwater harvesting and water purifiers at Rs 102.5 million; solar power at Rs 2.79 billion; and heritage conservation at Rs 1.05 billion. All these projects are targeted to be completed in three years—by 2022.

Please share the city’s plans under the Housing for All initiative. 

In Lodha Colony and Sethi Nagar, work is on for 960 units of slum housing; land acquisition is in progress. At Bada Bangarda and Bhuri Tekri, work is in full swing under PMAY. Apart from this, work is ongoing for another slum housing project in Sanawadia. 

What about projects being developed under AMRUT?    

Currently, under AMRUT, mainly three packages are being implemented to address current and immediate future drinking water needs. Package 1 involves improvement and rejuvenation of existing raw and clear water system—a treatment and pumping system aims to increase water supply from 397 MLD to 594 MLD to meet demand up to 2020-21. Package 2 involves feeder main, construction of OHTs and bulk water management system including SCADA. Package 3 includes the distribution network of 34 new OHTs including seven existing overhead tanks and replacement of old distribution network, house service connections and monitoring system. 

Further, to address current and immediate future sewerage treatment needs, two packages are being implemented. Package 1 includes the construction of five sewage treatment plants (STPs), rehabilitation and upgradation of the existing 78 MLD, a collection system of five new STPs, reuse of 13 MLD effluent of existing 245 MLD STP for garden, flushing, horticulture and firefighting including one OHT (3 ML and pipe network of 30 km). Package 2 involves providing, laying, joining, testing and commissioning and allied works of trapping of secondary sewerage outfalls discharging sewage in the main three nallahs of the city and connection into the primary sewerage network. The package also involves house service connection for 5,000 and industrial area collection system of 37 km up to the existing 4 MLD. 

What about the city’s contribution to Swachh Bharat Abhiyan?

Indore has become a global model for solid waste management. It has established defined systems and processes and reaps benefits year on year. It has been named the No. 1 cleanest city in India for the third time in the Swachh Survekshan 2019.   

Indore city has the country’s only ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001: 2015 and OHSAS 18000:2007 certified centralised processing unit. To strengthen solid waste processing in the city, the corporation has initiated the promotion of the three Rs—Reduce, Reuse and Recycle—in a mission mode. With an aim to reduce waste throughout the city, household composting of organic waste is currently being practised across 32,000 households.

Further, IMC has been able to achieve door-to-door collection in 100 per cent of its wards and 100 per cent segregation of waste at source. All bulk garbage generators, parks and gardens within the city are practicing on-site processing of organic waste. What’s more, all commercial areas have an appropriate number of twin bins installed that are emptied daily. Every garbage collection vehicle within the city is being tracked by GPS/RFID, which helps locate the movement of the garbage collector. Indore has three STPs within the city and proper log books are maintained for the same.

Moreover, the city received ODF++ certification under open defecation on free protocol, which means IMC has succeeded in achieving sanitation on sustainability by addressing the complete sanitation value chain, including safe and complete faecal sludge management.

Further, Indore is one of the three 5-star rated cities under the Star Rating of Garbage Free City certification programme of the MoHUA. IMC had established a bio-methanation plant of 20 tpd capacity for treatment of organic municipal solid waste in December 2017. Here, 20 mtpd organic waste is treated daily through a bio-CNG plant and about 800 kg of methane gas is generated on a daily basis.

What is the annual budget planned for the city? 

The total project outlay of Indore Smart City Development is Rs 43.25 billion, which is a comprehensive budgetary provision for all projects planned under the smart city mission. Of this, Rs 10 billion will be the grant from the state and Central Government in a 50:50 ratio; the rest is to be generated by the SPV itself from various projects.