In August 2016, Nagpur was selected for development as a smart city under Round II of the Smart Cities Mission (SCM). The city is expected to be transformed into a safe and smart one through the introduction of several information and communications technology- (ICT) based interventions and the deployment of urban infrastructure solutions.
Nagpur Smart and Sustainable City Development Corporation Limited (NSSCDCL) has been incorporated as the nodal agency to implement these initiatives. At present, projects involving the installation of CCTV cameras, development of public Wi-Fi hotspots, and deployment of smart transport and smart traffic management systems in the city have been completed. Work on area-based development (ABD) projects such as supplying water and laying roads in the East Nagpur area is in progress. To execute the works, private players such as Larsen & Toubro and Shapoorji Pallonji have been roped in and adequate funds have been allocated. With these projects under way, the city is steadily progressing towards becoming a smart city.
Progress so far
Nagpur has made significant headway in the execution of smart ICT-based projects under the SCM. The first pan-city integrated safe and smart city project which involved an investment of Rs 5.2 billion has been completed. The contract was awarded to L&T in August 2016. As part of the project, 1,200 km of optic fibre network has been laid, 136 public Wi-Fi hotspots and 100 digital-interactive kiosks have been developed and around 3,800 city-wide surveillance cameras have been installed. For real-time monitoring, information and live feeds regarding parking areas, smart bins, street lighting, buses and traffic signal violations are transmitted to the Nagpur Municiapl Corporation’s (NMC) operation centre and to the integrated control and command centre (ICCC), which is located at the police headquarters. To track traffic light offenders, smart technologies such as red-light violation detection and automatic number plate recognition systems have been deployed across 700 intersections of the city. An adaptive traffic control system has been put in place to manage the traffic load. Through the system, the traffic department optimises signal timings using sensors which access the traffic flow and vehicle density, thereby managing traffic flow on a real-time basis.
Another component, the development of a 6 km stretch (Garden Square to Orange City hospital) using smart ICT-based solutions has also been taken up as part of the project. This involved developing a smart solid waste management (SWM) system, a smart transport system, and smart parking and smart street lighting projects, among others. Under the smart SWM project, 20 dustbins equipped with smart sensors have been placed along the 6 km stretch. Through the sensors, signals are passed on to the NMC’s operation centre once the dustbins are filled to the brim. All garbage transportation vehicles are also equipped with geopositioning systems to provide information about their exact location, resulting in effective management of waste.
Further, L&T has put in place 49 variable message signboards, 383 smart street lights, 10 environment sensors, and 56 public announcement systems to improve the quality of life of Nagpur’s citizens. Other smart technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles have also been deployed to monitor crowded places.
With respect to progress on ABD projects, works worth Rs 33.51 billion covering 1,743 acres in Pardi, Punapur, Bharatwada and Bhandewadi have been approved for execution in phases. In Phase I, work of constructing a 55 km road network, laying of water and sewer lines, etc., will be taken up at an investment of Rs 6.5 billion. The contract for the works has been awarded to Shapoorji Pallonji. Work is currently in progress and is expected to be completed by July 2019. Subsequently, health and education facilities, and recreational areas such as parks will be developed as part of the project. To execute the project, NSSCDCL has received funds totalling Rs 1.94 billion from the central government, Rs 1.93 billion from the state government (including Rs 500 million from the City and Industrial Development Corporation) and Rs 500 million from the Nagpur Improvement Trust.
To conclude, Nagpur has made substantial progress under the mission and topped the smart cities ranking in June 2018. The installation of security cameras has helped reduce crime in the city thereby improving law and order conditions. These achievements have been made possible with the timely completion of projects, which has been supported by private players and the availability of adequate funds.