Smart Cities Update: Progress, emerging trends and key challenges

Progress, emerging trends and key challenges

The Smart Cities Mission is being implemented at a fast pace. As of September 22, 2021, 91 per cent of smart cities pro­jects amounting to Rs 1,854.72 billion have been tendered, 26 per cent projects have been completed while 76 per cent have been groun­ded. At a recent Smart Cities in India conference organised by Indian Infrastructure, offici­als working on smart cities projects shared their experience and discussed the overall pro­gress of the mission, new and emerging tre­n­ds, issues and challenges, upcoming opportunities and the future outlook. The key takeaways from the discussion…

Krishana Pallava Chamola, Resident Project Manager, Dehradun Smart City Limited

  • The total project cost of Dehradun Smart City is Rs 14.54 billion, with the Ministry of Hou­sing and Urban Affairs and the Uttarakhand government providing funding worth Rs 5 billion each. The projects under the Smart City Mis­sion have received 100 per cent approval.
  • As of September 20, 2021 Dehradun Smart City Limited (DSCL) is implementing two hy­brid projects worth Rs 680 million in the electric vehicles and water and waste management segment.
  • DSCL is implementing six projects worth Rs 2.58 billion and two projects worth Rs 152.1 million in public-private partnership and convergence mode, respectively.

Avny Lavasa, Chief Executive Officer, Jammu Smart City

  • The key upcoming infrastructure projects are complete street development of the Resi­dency road-high street and Apsra road; heritage trail and beautification from Mubarak vMandi to Raghunath Bazaar; and development of static advertisement panels and sm­­art traffic booths. The other projects in­clude the Tawi river front, blue-green project for Trikuta canal and Ranbir canal. These projects will be tendered soon.
  • Some of the completed projects are automatic multi-level parking, vertical garden, develop­ment of green spaces and signages, Jam­mu ropeway and IT-based smart parking system.

Anuj Malhotra, General Manager, Planning and Urban Development, Srinagar Smart City

  • Currently, there are 18 area-based development projects that amount to Rs 6.85 billion and 41 pan city projects worth Rs 3.05 billion under the Srinagar smart city. The projects are under various stages of implementation.
  • The ongoing pilot project Jhelum cruise for tourism and passenger transport, which is part of the riverfront development (Phase I) project, will be tendered soon. The cost of the project is Rs 240 million.
  • Under Downtown Revival, 18 ghats are being considered for improvement and adaptive reuse and retrofitting of heritage buildings. The detailed project report (DPR) of heritage buildings is under preparation.
  • In the coming six to eight months, tenders are expected to be launched for riverfront development, downtown revival and central business district development projects. These projects will provide maximum opportunities.

Chetan Nandani, CEO, Rajkot Smart City

  • As part of a greenfield project, about 700 acres of barren land will be converted into a state-of-the-art city with a robust infrastructure, which will serve as a role model for other cities.
  • A robust infrastructure project has already started and Larsen & Toubro is the implementing agency. A unique feature of this project is that three fresh water lakes have been rejuvenated in this area. The total cost of the project is Rs 5.6 billion. Overall, the financial progress is 45 per cent while physical prog­ress is about 50 per cent. The Atal Sarovar is another project under the smart city. The total cost of the project is Rs 1.5 billion.
  • Going forward, there are plans to replicate the wastewater projects on a large scale. Neighbourhoods will be redesigned and converted into a state-of-the-art city. There are plans to introduce 150 electronic buses.
  • In the coming months, smart water technol­ogy, wastewater reuse and solar energy-ba­sed projects will create a range of opportunities for stakeholders.

Krupal Rajesh Rana, Chief Development Officer, Dahod Smart City

  • A total of six projects, including a water SCADA system and solid waste management (SWM) project, with a total estimated cost of Rs 1.48 billion, are yet to be tendered.
  • Of the ongoing projects worth Rs 5.43 billion, an Integrated Command and Control Centre-Information Technology (ICCC-IT) of Rs 1.28 bi­llion, has achieved 95 per cent physical progress.
  • So far, four projects worth Rs 134 million, comprising a compound wall, SWM vehicle procurement, rainwater harvesting, and city bus procurement, have been completed.
  • As of September 21, 2021, the Dahod Smart City has received a total grant of Rs 3.89 billion, accounting for 39.9 per cent of the total grant receivable of Rs 9.76 billion.

Dahey Sangno, Chief Executive Officer, Itanagar Smart City

  • A total of 51 projects worth Rs 12.98 billion are under various stages of development, with 42 under the area-based development segment and the remaining under the pan-city section.
  • Projects worth Rs 1,078 million have been completed while projects worth Rs 942.5 million are in progress. DPR for projects worth Rs 4,464 million is in the preparation stage.
  • The upcoming opportunity for Itanagar Smart City includes the establishment of an integrated traffic and transport management system, smart parking management system, optical fibre cable network of 280 km across the city, and solid waste management system.

Dr Apurva Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, Silvassa Smart City Limited

  • Currently, projects worth Rs 8 billion have been tendered against the total approved project of Rs 9.78 billion.
  • For effective implementation, public participation is absolutely necessary, land acquisition issues should be resolved before the work order is placed, and joint ventures should be avoided as far as possible.

Manvinder Singh, Nodal Head, Jhansi Smart City

  • As of August 31, 2021, Jhansi Smart City Limited has undertaken a total of 57 projects worth Rs 9.27 billion. Of these, DPRs have been prepared for 51 projects, and the remaining are under preparation.
  • The special purpose vehicle has executed eight projects worth Rs 1.86 billion till now, with the ICCC accounting for the majority of the expenditure.
  • Currently, there are 29 ongoing projects ac­ross various sectors such as water and wa­ste management, renewable energy and con­struction, which are under various stages of completion. Further, about 11 projects have been tendered.
  • Six additional projects worth Rs 2.01 billion, including a railway flyover bridge on Gwalior Road in Jhansi, are in the planning stage. Their DPRs are being prepared.

Going forward, these cities present tremendous opportunities for contractors, developers, technology solution providers, equipment suppliers, system integrators, and design and project management consultants