Smart Moves

Bhopal’s experience in asset management and remote monitoring

Bhopal Smart City created a redevelopment model as a smart city project (SCP) submission for the India Labour challenges and it was chosen in the first round. The proposed Bhopal Smart City SCP will cost a total of Rs 34.4 billion. The redevelopment model involves two approaches: pan-city initiatives and area-based development. Bhopal smart city has already injected Rs 0.75 billion in its pan-city initiatives and some of the important projects are an integrated command control centre (ICCC), an intelligent transit manageme­nt system and biomethanation for solid waste management. Area-based development is a unique initiative that the smart city of Bhopal has undertaken. The city has commenced land monetisation on 342 acres given by the state government as a title deed and is the first to generate revenue through it.

The first venture of Bhopal smart city is a biomethanation plant for solid waste management innovation. This plant has the capacity to treat 5 tonnes of waste to generate gas and electricity.

The biogas production is 280-300 cum per day, with a calorific value of 4,800 to 5,200 kcal/cum, power generation is around 420 electrical units per day, organic manure production is 15 tonnes per month, and liquid organic flow is 10-11 cum per day. This type of biomethanation management plant takes around 450 sq m of land. Some advantages of a biomethanation pla­nt are generation of 0.1 MUs of electricity per year, thereby reducing electricity costs, and illuminating the lives of market dwellers, where it is located. It produces 500 kg of biofertiliser per day at a cost of approximately Rs 0.6 million. It also saves fuel as it is located close to a vege­table market, which generates raw gar­b­age.

Technology play

Bhopal city has around 435 door-to-door vehicles that are assigned to 85 wards. These vehicles collect door-to-door waste and simultaneously segregate dry and wet waste. In keeping with the Covid-19 pandemic, the city has an ad­di­tional compartment for medical waste. All do­or-to-door vehicles initially arrive at an automated transfer station equipped with radio frequency identification and automatic number plate recognition base technology. Each vehicle’s gar­bage hauling capacity in a single trip can also be quantified. Later, the garbage is transferred to other plants, such as the HYVA machines, which are capable of sorting dry and wet waste, as well as processing and filtering it.

Additionally, it is possible to access in real time the number of trips made by each vehicle and the amount of dry/wet garbage collected da­i­ly. In order to reduce the amo­unt of time and ma­npower effort required, this process has be­en automated and optimised. Around 800 to­n­nes of waste has already been collected from Bh­o­­pal households. There are a total of 12 transfer stations in Bhopal smart city.

The installation of around 150 underground trash cans with dry and wet waste compartments is another noteworthy initiative. Un­der this project, a unique form of vehicle is be­ing developed. There is a real-time GPS sensor that notifies in real time whether the bin is 60 per cent, 80 per cent, or 100 per cent filled.

Fresh initiatives

To properly monitor solid waste management, Bhopal smart city has established an ICCC, the first to be launched in India under the Smart Cities Mission. Under the ICCC, about eight city-level and eight state-level services have been im­plemented and integrated. This project will cost around Rs 420 million over a five-year period.

Vehicle tracking can be used to determine if a vehicle has begun or reached its destination. This is beneficial as it allows for the creation of a route for every vehicle in every wa­rd, enables the detailing of route and schedule it must adhere to and also makes it possible to monitor whether or not it is doing so. The ICCC sends out an alert whenever a route is violated.

Bhopal smart city has made significant contributions to urban local bodies (ULB). ULBs do far more than just undertaking construction and demolition (C&D) activities and running waste-to-energy plants. The smart city has just announced the formation of a carbon credit agency to examine carbon credit projects. The­re are numerous projects such as smart poles and intelligent street lights, public bike sharing and solid waste management, where carbon credits can be awarded to cities and then em­ployed for solid waste management and oth­er applications. Another step undertaken by Bho­pal smart city is the transition from manual sweeping to automated vehicles. There are th­ree dedicated vehicles that cover 200 km of the city’s main roads. With a capacity of 5 cum/m, each vehicle is capable of cleaning both wet and dry surfaces. The three vehicles operate at night to collect waste and ensure that Bhopal roads are clean during the day. A yet another initiative is the development and operation of a transfer station and it is an im­portant contribution to the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). A transfer station is the intermediatory halting and processing of waste. It saves fuel consumption as well as compresses the majority of solid waste, which can then be used for C&D or segregation, while the remaining waste goes to the landfill site.

Based on remarks by Jitendra Rathore, Head of Design Implementation and Monitoring of Large Scale Projects, Bhopal Smart City Development Corporation Limited, at a recent Indian Infrastructure conference

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