Tenders floated for cameras and traffic management system in Udaipur

01 May 2022 Long Read

Udaipur, the City of Lakes, has been making headlines as among the seven cities set to be declared India’s first set of ‘smart cities’ by the end of 2022. In the recently released ranking of 100 smart cities, it has bagged the second position in the country. So far, 93 projects have been completed, while 15 projects are ongoing and expected to be completed by the end of the year. Pradeep Singh Sangawat, CEO, Udaipur Smart City, shares more….

Tell us about the Udaipur Smart City’s achievements, key projects initiated and amount invested.

After being selected in the first round of smart cities, we have taken numerous initiatives to depict the vision, ambition, and needs of city dwellers for the Udaipur Smart City. We have conducted several rounds of meetings with different groups of city dwellers including women, senior citizens, and students, and conducted various surveys and seminars, as well as collected valuable inputs and advice from prominent public representatives like Honourable Member of Parliament (MP) and Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), councillors and so forth. Based on the feedback received, we have designed projects that can be classified into six major categories (Integrated Infrastructure Package, Heritage and Façade Conservation, Solid Waste Management, Development of Parking Spaces and Junction, Public Bicycle Sharing, Redevelopment Schools and Anganwadis)

We laid new sewerage lines, undergrounded electricity cables, made provision for 24 x 7 water supply, and strengthened the storm water management system, improved roads and historical Bazaars in the old city area of Udaipur under the Area Based Development Initiative (Integrated Infrastructure Project). Along with this, we have also implemented projects for the conservation and restoration of prominent heritage walls, gates, ghats, and buildings. The people of Udaipur are also appreciating our efforts in developing two smart roads in the city, strengthening of solid waste disposal system, and introducing city buses and public bicycle sharing facilities.

The total project budget allocation for the city was Rs 10 billion (Rs 1,000 crore). Of this, Rs 5 billion (Rs 500 crore) is from the Central Government, Rs 3 billion (Rs 300 crore) from the state government, Rs 1 billion (Rs 100 crore) from the local municipal corporation and Rs 1 billion (Rs 100 crore) from Urban Improvement Trust (UIT). Furthermore, till date we have incurred an expenditure of Rs 855.22 while implementing the desired projects of citizens and easing their day-to-day life.

As reported in April 2022, 85 percent of smart city projects are complete in the city. How did you manage completing the work amid the pandemic?
It was tough. In our major project in the ABD area, around 1,400-1,500 labour was engaged, of which, 60-65 per cent were from the states of Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh and they went back to their states owing to the pandemic. However, to maintain the pace of work and ensure timely completion of works, we had invested our time and resources in sourcing and engaging local labours from neighbouring areas like Banswada, Pratapgadh, and other remote areas of Udaipur and trained them to carry out the desired task. Besides this, the local administration, our collector, and mayor were supportive and had given us all the required permissions to work despite the pandemic. Although it delayed projects a few times, we managed completing most of them.

Tell us about the pending work in the city.
In the ABD area (Old City), we have done underground cabling, rehabilitated sewerage, and constructed new Electrical Lines with 13 kV and 11 kV underground distribution lines of electricity, water supply, and storm water lines. The budget is around Rs 537 crore and we have completed the civil part. Pending work includes the commissioning of electricity, water, and sewerage connection to the people.

One of our prominent projects, the flyover that connects the airport, is also almost 85 per cent completed and we will hand it over to the people in June 2022. In our last board meeting, we have also taken up a few important projects like the conservation and renovation works of the Collectorate Building, which is a heritage building, and redevelopment work of ring road surrounding Govardhan Sagar Lake to convert it into another tourist spot like Lake Picchola. We are planning to construct cycle tracks and footpath, beautification of places to increase tourist footfall in the area. Another project that we are working on is ICCC surveillance cameras to connect outer areas. We have floated a tender for additional cameras and a traffic management system.

What were the challenges faced in achieving the smart vision? What are the strategies being applied to overcome the same?
Geographically, Udaipur is not a plain area – it has a hilly component. The Old City area, which has a population of 1.2 lakh, is a challenge because it has narrow lanes where construction and renovation are not easy. Working in those areas was a big challenge where we had to provide underground cabling for electricity, sewerage and other facilities while ensuring smooth traffic movement for citizens and tourists. As explained, a major challenge during the pandemic was labour. For the flyover project, the major challenge was diversion of the traffic, which we had to overcome; the construction work will be finished soon.

For the civil work, before starting a project, we have taken the people into confidence by showing them pictures and 3D images of the project and informing them about the timeline of construction. Almost 85 per cent of the civil work is completed and commissioning in progress. The people, local mayor, deputy mayor, and all local representatives of Udaipur are supportive and we have overcome all the challenges with their support.

What are the efforts taken to maintain the city’s heritage?
Udaipur has received the award for the best city in the ‘Conservation of Heritage’ category. The people are attached to the city’s heritage and before every new restoration or renovation project, we have to assure the public that the old structure will be kept as it is. When it comes to the approach, the first step we took was to study old photographs of the city and the old structures by visiting state libraries. The next step was to remove encroachments from some heritage buildings and restore them as seen in the old photographs. We have restored all the historic gates in the city by using old methods and building materials, which help maintain the old charm. Fort walls, heritage buildings, gates, ghats, heritage and bazars have all been restored keeping the old look in mind. Even the lighting of the heritage buildings has been done by using old designs.

The city has used the CPM-PERT technique to monitor projects. How did it help achieve targets on time?
Whenever you are working on a major project worth Rs 10 billion (Rs 1,000 crore), you cannot use the basic monitoring systems by the local body. With the CPM-PERT technique, projects get reviewed on a monthly basis. In this technique, the project work is distributed in 20 parts and we have used it to monitor our big projects like the flyovers, ABD and solid waste projects. This helped us complete projects on time as the engineers and contractors were under pressure to achieve the timeline.

Can you briefly detail projects completed or planned in various areas.

  • Smart roads and transportation: The two major arteries of the city have been converted into smart roads, including amenities like footpath, cycle track, underground utility wiring, sitting benches, water ATMs, smart toilets etc. The smart roads enable smooth movement of traffic and have increased the footfall at nearby shops as shopkeepers can use the service road to park their cars. We have also developed gardens nearby that are being used by the citizens and digitised smart city buses and bus stops. Another important project is the improvement of Suraj Pole junction, where we have created a circle along with greenery to solve traffic issues.
  • LED and street lights: We have installed LED lights in the old heritage structures and places which has enhanced the beauty along with reducing the electricity bill. Furthermore, we have also installed 4,500 street lights in the ABD Area (old city) out of the target 6,000 lights, and the rest will be completed in the next two to three months. We have also installed 250 street lights on our Hiran Magri Smart Road.
  • Safety and surveillance: We have completed the building for the Abhay Command Centres, which is a mandatory part of the Smart Cities Mission. Under the first phase, we have installed 450 surveillance cameras across the city. For the second phase, we have floated tenders for 900 cameras to be installed in the nearby areas. We have installed an ITMS to keep a check on red lights, traffic, and speed violations. We are also checking spots to install PTZ and box cameras.
  • Parking spaces: We have constructed a total of eight parking lots in different parts of the city with a capacity of 1,529 vehicles. Of the eight parking lots, three are multi-level and one is puzzle parking. Our PWD parking has a capacity for 286 vehicles, and in Nada Khada, 290 vehicles can be parked. Our Pazzle Parking, which is to be completed soon, can accommodate 85 vehicles at a time.
  • Solid waste project: We have implemented 24 projects worth Rs 43 crore for the transportation of waste, efficient disposal, and generating of revenue from the waste. Currently, we have a transfer station to ensure efficient transportation of waste, weighing bridges to measure the daily collection of solid waste, and construction and demolition (C&D) waste plant to dispose of the used construction materials. We have installed sanitary vending machines and automatic bottle crushing machines in many places in our city. Furthermore, we are not just disposing off solid waste, but are earning revenue by producing CNG Gas from the same. We are also constructing and selling bricks out of the C&D waste, and manure from the kitchen waste.
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