Treading Smartly: Update on Rajkot and Naya Raipur smart cities

Update on Rajkot and Naya Raipur smart cities

Launched in July 2015, the Smart Cities Mission (SCM) has taken rapid strides since. The mission’s aim is to achieve urban transformation, drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people by enabling local area development and harnessing technology. So far, 90 cities have been shortlisted to be developed as smart cities. As envisioned under the mission, the core infrastructure elements include the provision of adequate water supply, solid waste management, sewage and septage management, stormwater drainage facilities, affordable housing facilities, etc. Besides, information and communication technology (ICT) solutions will be deployed in these cities to enable effective monitoring of utilities and services. Among the selected cities, Rajkot and Naya Raipur too have moved towards building modern facilities and leveraging the collective intelligence created by physical, institutional, social and economic infrastructure to deliver a quantum improvement in the provision of services to the local population.

Indian Infrastructure gives a detailed account of the upcoming smart cities of Rajkot and Naya Raipur…

Rajkot

In July 2017, Rajkot managed to find a place in the list of cities shortlisted under Round III of the SCM. Rajkot Smart City Development Limited has been incorporated as a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for developing the smart city and the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) has unveiled project proposals worth Rs 26.23 billion for smart city project development. Of the envisaged investment, about Rs 22 billion will be spent on area-based development (ABD) projects while the remaining funds amounting to Rs 4 billion will be utilised for the execution of pan-city projects. With regard to the funding arrangement, a grant of Rs 5 billion will be provided by the central government while the remaining is expected to be arranged for by the Gujarat government and the RMC.

As part of the projects under the pan-city component, information technology-based initiatives such as intelligent traffic and transport management systems, and those for smart governance and smart water and waste management will be taken up. One of the projects under the pan-city component is the Rajkot eye-way project worth Rs 690 million, which is being jointly developed by the RMC and the Rajkot city police. To be executed in two phases, the scope of work involves installing a network of 973 cameras for smart governance and environment sensors for monitoring environment pollution levels. The contract for the project has been awarded to Honeywell Building Technologies and in Phase I, 500 cameras and 20 environment sensors have been installed. This phase was inaugurated in September 2017. Meanwhile, Phase II of the project involves the development of two integrated command and control centres, the deployment of intelligent traffic management systems (ITMS) including a red-light violation detection system with e-challan, digital signboards at critical public places, an auto alert disaster management system and 50 environment sensors across the city. This phase is currently under implementation

Another initiative under the Rajkot smart city project comprises the deployment of smart water and waste management systems such as supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems for the water distribution network and septage management, smart meters, automatic billing and collection systems, a leak identification system to reduce non-revenue water leakage, global positioning system (GPS)-enabled solid waste trucks and smart bins.

Meanwhile, in order to enable smart urban mobility, traffic control management systems and electric transport technologies will be introduced. Further, intelligent technologies such as passenger information systems, surveillance cameras, and geographic information system (GIS)-based mapping to get real-time information about transport vehicles will be deployed. Smart energy is another prerequisite to transform Rajkot into a smart city. To this end, old halogen-based lights have been replaced with LED lights to save energy. Other infrastructure works including smart grid distribution and underground cable connectivity works will also be undertaken.

ABD projects comprise the redevelopment of old areas/infrastructure. The key projects include retrofitting transit-oriented development (TOD) along the 8.5 km bus rapid transit corridor, slum redevelopment and river rejuvenation. For ABD projects, a land parcel of 250 acres in the Raiya area in the western part of the city has been identified. Further, the plan includes the rejuvenation of lakes, and the development of parks, corporate offices, educational institutions, a convention centre, a skill centre, recreational areas and an exhibition centre. Environment sustainability has also been considered an important element of smart cities, and for this, rooftop solar projects, a 2 MW solar park, rainwater harvesting systems at all public places and all buildings, dual plumbing systems in all buildings for reuse of grey water, among other initiatives will be undertaken.

Naya Raipur

The Chhattisgarh government has formed an SPV – the Naya Raipur Smart City Corporation – for the development of Naya Raipur as a smart city. The city has undertaken several initiatives to become a functionally integrated capital city, such as the development of a 100 km road network (both four lane and six lane), 24×7 potable water supply and an ICT-enabled bus rapid transit system, among others. Besides, it is the first city to take up TOD.

To further develop the city, smart systems comprising city surveillance, ITMS, electricity and water supply, and a city command and control centre will be introduced. An estimated investment of about Rs 16 billion is required to take up the projects, of which Rs 10 billion is allocated for ABD, while the remaining Rs 6 billion is for pan-city initiatives.

To improve the existing service level, smart governance initiatives will be taken up. These include providing single-window access to public services, GIS-based land and estate management systems, human resource management systems, asset management systems and mobile governance. Meanwhile, a centralised city control and data centre – Master System Integrator – will be deployed for the integrated monitoring of various subsystems. To develop the same, an MoU has been signed between the Naya Raipur Development Authority and Pi Data Centres Private Limited. This control and data centre will be developed at a cost Rs 1.98 billion at Sector 19 in Naya Raipur, and will help monitor the city using CCTV cameras, manage the electricity distribution system, and the water distribution and sewerage system through SCADA. The development of the data centre is currently under way.

The contract for the installation of ICT in the city has been awarded to the joint venture of Schneider Electric India and IL&FS Technologies Limited. The scope of work involves the setting up of hardware equipment for data collection, operating technology for controlling information and enterprise control.

In order to provide smart water and energy-efficient solutions, microgrids and solar energy projects, smart metering for water and electricity, and rainwater harvesting facilities will be introduced. For smart and sustainable transportation, ICT-enabled smart bicycle stands and public rental electric vehicles will be provided with easy charging options. Public e-toilets and recycled water for all public building works will be deployed as smart sanitation and waste management strategies.

Under the ABD projects, an intermodal transit hub, an experience centre, a trade and innovation centre, a banking street, public bike sharing, bag less schools and village tourism will be developed. Smart health care, city common cards, smart event management, and a smart village development plan are some of the other initiatives to be introduced in Naya Raipur.

Conclusion

The SCM will go a long way in developing core infrastructure services across Indian cities. To ensure its timely completion, all clearances will need to happen in a time-bound manner. A regulatory body should be set up for all utility services so that a level playing field is available to the private sector, and tariffs are set in a manner that balances financial sustainability with service quality. Effective horizontal and vertical coordination among various institutions, including various municipal entities, is also required to streamline processes. Coordination among ministries, the state government and local government agencies on various issues related to financing, and sharing of best practices and service delivery processes is also imperative. w

Based on presentations by Arun Mahesh Babu, Chief Executive Officer, Rajkot Smart City Development Limited; and Salil Shrivastava, Chief Engineer, Naya Raipur Development Authority, at a recent India Infrastructure conference