Indore Smart City CEO: Tenders to be floated for installing LED lights

Indore Smart City CEO: Tenders to be floated for installing LED lights

The city of Indore has been making headlines for several reasons.It has topped the Swachh Survekshan 2021, the fifth consecutive year, for being ranked thecleanest city in the country. The city has also bagged the first rank at the India Smart Cities Award for the past few years. What’s more, it...

The city of Indore has been making headlines for several reasons.It has topped the Swachh Survekshan 2021, the fifth consecutive year, for being ranked thecleanest city in the country. The city has also bagged the first rank at the India Smart Cities Award for the past few years. What’s more, it’s one of the first cities in the country that has been awarded the ‘Water Plus’ status. Here’s a model smart city with innovative ideasfor carbon credit financing, traffic and waste management, and more. Rishav Gupta, CEO, Indore Smart City, joins SHRIYAL SETHUMADHAVAN and SHREYA SUR on a virtual call to share the city’s achievements, initiatives and future plans. What initiatives have led to multiple achievements for the city? There are several contributing factors that make Indore the cleanest city not only in India, but across the globe. The city is doing phenomenal in waste management and the credit goes to its people for the segregationof waste that has been achieved at the household level. While complete wet waste is disposed by generating bio-gas,dry waste is segregated into 13 or 15 components that are sold to the recycling industry. Further, being awarded the Water Plus statusmeans none of our sewerage goes to the river or the nala with 100 per cent of sewerage directly going to the sewerage treatment plant. Our management of sewerage includes tapping individual households, so there is not a drop of sewerage going out of the city. To tackle air pollution,we are focusing on three distinct fields. The first is the traffic management system – our mission is for every citizen to switch off their engine at the red light. Also, plans are being laid to convert all rickshaws into electric vehicles. In case of industries, specifically boilers, which mostly run from coal, diesel or biomass,a systematic effort is being made to convert them to cleaner fuels like CNGs and electricity. What has the smart city beendoing from the conception of the mission? Indore’s smart city plan has been designed to tackle various aspects. This includes upgradation of the city’s heritage structures, smart roads, the safety component and carbon credit.As for heritage structures within the city, Rajwada, Gopal Mandir, Gandhi Hall and Hari Rao Holkar Chhatri,among several others, have been carefully and meticulously transformed under the Smart City Mission.We have also been focusing on smart roads, wherein the roads are well-managed and supported with all the facilities underground, whether it is electricity, drainage, stormwater or water supply. There would be no wires or pipes cluttered here and there. To ensure safety, the smart city plan includes the surveillance policy and an ITMS [Integrated Traffic Management System]. Also, Indore is the first city to have earned revenue through innovative streams such as carbon credit. This is one field where the city is doing pretty well. What opportunities can the construction industry look forward toin Indore? There is great opportunity to invest in a city like Indore, which is developing at a faster pace.Underground cabling, which is a niche sector, has huge scope, especially in anaspirational city like ours. Industrial and residential areas are growing at an unprecedented rate, especially projects under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana[PMAY]. And industrial areas in Pithampur are growing rapidly. There are opportunities for the construction of sewerage networks, drainage network and stormwaterfacilities as well. The city’scarbon credit financing mechanism has received a special award this year. Please share more details on this. There are two types of market for the concept of carbon credits: the government market and the voluntary market.Indore has participated in the voluntary market. This could include several hurdles such as high registration costs, large amount of dedicated human resource and studies to be undertaken to take part in such markets.We have undertaken all these efforts. Indore is the first city in Asia to generate revenuefrom this stream. Now, the city has developed an Aggregator Business Model. In the past three to four years, we have gained expertise in this field. Now, we have also adopted a consultancy model with government departments in other cities, where we help these cities earn money from pro-environment projects and absorbcarbon dioxide. For these projects, risks such as high registration costs, appointment of special consultants and costs of trading are 100 per cent catered to by Indore Smart City and the net revenue earned is shared with other cities. We are trying to aggregate different types of pro-environment activities across the city, and are trying to build a strong carbon market. Which upcoming tenders can the construction industry look forward to? The first tender is regarding the ITMS, which will encompass the entire city as we are trying to make all the signals smart and automatic.CCTVs and public address systemsare all a part of this project.The second tender will be floated for LED lights to be installed in our streets, which is a project with the Bureau of Energy Efficiency. And the third tender will be for the operations and maintenanceof a 15 TPD Bio-Methanation Plant. Tenders for the Bio-Methanation Plant and ITMS have already been floated. We have received the pre-bids and are working on them. We will float tenders for installing LED lights in the cityin the coming few weeks. Tell us about the projects you have initiated in the fields of education and welfare. There are a few projects in the field of education I would like to highlight. Many schools have been selected for a rebuild and revamp formodern amenities such as smart classrooms, where the classrooms have projectors and are supported by many other technologies. We have tied up with companies and agencies like John Snow India with USAID to train our schools in child psychology, mental health issues and basic health infrastructure. Indore has launched our own incubation centre called ‘Smart Seed’ for entrepreneurship development of college students, where start-ups will get all the required facilities, from guidance to funding during their nascent stage. They can also have mentorship programmes assigned to them. Any projects for citizen safety and surveillance? We have been focusing on the safety of children in public places. The focus has been to create safer and accessible public places for children. We are investing in ITMS, which covers surveillance in most city junctions. Also, Indore will soon have a city surveillance policy whereby we will take support from citizens to give access to CCTV footage, which will help us ensure the entire city is controlled through a single command centre. When it comes to city development, what are the challenges faced? One major challenge every city is facing at present is to create avenues for youth, especially unemployed youth. While this generation is coming up with brilliant ideas, they need the right avenues to bring those ideas to life. And as part of the Smart Cities Mission, we are trying to establish a good start-up culture in the city. What is the budget assigned to Indore Smart City and where is it sourced from? The Smart City Mission was started by the Central Government wherein Rs 500crore was to be be spent by the Centre and a matching grant would be provided by the state. Most of this has been received by Indore. The initial vision of the mission wasto have smart cities that would be financially viable and positioned to run by themselvesafter the completion of the mission. With the help of various initiatives such as advertisements, land monetisation and carbon credits, we can say that Indore Smart City can run on its own and we have our own sources of income. What is your vision for Indorein the year 2022? My vision is to make Indore a safe, secure and clean city – one that can manage its own expenses, a city which is liveable, has a controlled level of pollutionand is backed by good infrastructure that not just caters to the inside but also to the hinterland.

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