The e-mobility project tackles traffic congestion and pollution
Under its Smart City Mission, the Central Government had felicitated Jammu Smart City for its e-mobility project, which includes successful operation of e-autos and e-rickshaws. The city got the award under the Urban Environment Category of the India Smart Cities Awards Contest (ISAC) in Indore, Madhya Pradesh – it won the third spot while the first and second positions in the category were bagged by Indore and Shivamogga (Karnataka), respectively. Rahul Yadav, CEO, Jammu Smart City (JSCL), received the award from Union Minister for Housing and Urban Development Hardeep Singh Puri. “The e-mobility project tackles such urban challenges as traffic congestion, pollution and limited transport options,” he said. “In this context, e-autos and e-rickshaws are emission-free transport options with a positive environmental impact. These electric vehicles stand out for their cost-effective operational dynamics, making them the preferred choice for both passengers and drivers.” He shared more about the city’s successes and future plans in conversation with R SRINIVASAN. Excerpts: What factors would you attribute to Jammu Smart City bagging an award for the e-auto project? The e-auto or e-rickshaw project received an award due to its holistic approach in addressing urban transportation challenges, alignment with sustainable development goals (SDGs), positive impact on the environment, job creation and accessibility of affordable public transportation. Let us see the project details: Job creation: The initiative provides employment opportunities for unemployed youth in Jammu by supporting them in becoming e-auto and e-rickshaw drivers, addressing the socio-economic concerns. Partnerships: The collaboration with OEMs and authorised agencies as well as the provision of subsidies demonstrates a comprehensive strategy to implement the project. Subsidies: By offering substantial subsidies through direct benefit transfer (DBT), JSCL significantly reduces the financial burden on beneficiaries looking to adopt e-vehicles. JSCL provide subsidies up to Rs 74,000 for e-autos (L5) and Rs 58,000 for e-rickshaws (L3), making electric vehicles more affordable and attractive, especially for individuals who might not have been able to purchase them otherwise. Reduction of pollution: The project aims to cut pollution, which is a pressing issue in many Indian cities, in alignment with the goal to achieve a green corridor and cleaner air. Affordable and accessible transport: The project makes eco-friendly public transportation more affordable and accessible to a broader section of the population, thereby improving urban mobility and providing last-mile connectivity in a city of temples. Alignment with SDGs: The project aligns with several SDGs, including no poverty, good health and well-being, clean affordable energy and sustainable cities, demonstrating a commitment to address larger global challenges. Recognition of efforts: The award also suggests that the project's success in terms of its positive impact on the community has been recognised and appreciated by the relevant authorities and organisations. Please give details of your smart city project and its key objectives. Jammu Smart City urban transformation project is aimed at turning Jammu into a sustainable and technologically advanced city. The project is organised around five key themes, each addressing specific aspects of urban development and improvement. The overarching objectives include enhancing the quality of life for its residents and visitors, promoting economic growth, improving infrastructure and leveraging technology for better governance and public services. Here is a brief overview of the project's key objectives and themes: City beautification: Projects will enhance aesthetics, cultural heritage and recreational spaces of the city that focus on improving public spaces, preserving heritage sites and creating visually appealing environments to make the city more attractive and liveable. IT intervention: Leveraging technology will enhance public services and governance efficiency and the projects will promote digitalisation, improve e-governance and create smart facilities to facilitate better connectivity and efficiency. Smart urban mobility: Projects will improve road infrastructure, create pedestrian-friendly footpaths and enhance mobility options for citizens. Efficient green initiatives: Projects will promote sustainability, improve waste management, enhance green spaces and adopt renewable energy solutions for a more sustainable urban environment. Disaster management: It is a critical theme to enhance emergency response and ensure public safety during critical situations. The projects will focus on improving fire and emergency services, establishing smart emergency response systems and developing key infrastructure to respond effectively to emergencies and disasters. The Jammu Smart City project comprises a total of 124 projects with a cumulative value of Rs 35.8189 billion. This includes funding from the Smart City Mission funds, convergence equity and PPP funding. As of now, over 85 projects worth Rs 14.7936 billion have been completed, while 40 projects worth Rs 21.0253 billion are in various stages of execution. The city installed about 680 PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) cameras. What was the cost incurred? Yes, 672 CCTV cameras have been installed within the city limits of Jammu, at an investment of Rs 249.8 million. They have been installed at 73 locations across the city. This cost includes operation and maintenance of cameras and allied equipment for three years. What are the key takeaways for other cities from your project? The Jammu Smart City Project serves as a comprehensive model for urban transformation, combining digital innovation, sustainable mobility, tourism promotion and revenue generation. Other cities can draw inspiration from these takeaways to embark on their own smart city journeys. Urban mobility: The introduction of e-autos or e-rickshaws, electric buses and a public bicycle sharing system promotes sustainable urban mobility. This showcases the importance of eco-friendly transportation alternatives. Cities can explore electric transport options to reduce emissions and traffic congestion. Tourism and employment generation: Development and beautification of the Tawi riverfront illustrates how urban projects can boost tourism and create local job opportunities. Revenue generation: Jammu's plan to auction real estate on the riverfront for commercial properties demonstrates a strategy to generate revenue to fund urban development projects. Integrated command-and-control centre (ICCC): The establishment of an ICCC as the central hub for various municipal and government services is a pivotal feature. It streamlines service delivery by offering online services, thus reducing the need for citizens to physically visit government offices. Digital door numbering (DDN) system: The implementation of a digital door numbering system with unique QR codes and geo-coordinates for properties enhances urban planning, service delivery and public convenience. The smart addressing system is a state-of-the-art utility, which is being achieved from DDN. It also helps municipal authorities keep a check on the solid waste management system and efficient disposal of garbage generated by the city. Data-driven decision-making: By capturing and storing data on properties and residents, Jammu's project enables data-driven decision-making for services like waste collection, infrastructure development and public safety. Cities can use data analytics to enhance urban planning and governance. Traffic management: The intelligent traffic management system (ITMS) and city surveillance system using CCTV cameras and other ICT devices enhance road safety. These devices also help police authorities investigate crime cases to ensure the safety of residents. Are there any upcoming projects you would like to comment upon? The Tawi riverfront development and procurement of 200 electric buses for Jammu and Srinagar are significant upcoming projects. The Tawi project includes flood prevention barriers, zero effluents discharge into the river and a focus on reducing plastic use. Also Jammu Smart City is participating in the upcoming PM e-Bus Sewa Challenge.