Information and communication technology is being widely adopted by smart cities in order to deliver better services to citizens. In this regard, smart city authorities are launching various innovative technologies to develop a robust communications infrastructure for greater efficiency. They have developed online portals for civic services, deployed automation and instrumentation tools for asset monitoring and maintenance, and enabled centrally managed smart traffic systems. Besides, various technological solutions such as integrated command and control centres (ICCCs), mobile apps and online grievance redressal systems are being introduced under the Smart Cities Mission. takes a look at some of the initiatives taken by several smart cities to provide better services…


In May 2021, Chandigarh Smart City Limited (CSCL) announced that around 80 dynamic messaging sign screens along with security cameras are being installed at 40 key traffic light junctions across the city. These light points will be equipped with the adaptive traffic control system (ATCS). The ATCS will automatically give priority to the direction with heavy traffic and help in smart traffic management. The project is being undertaken at a cost of Rs 25 million. Further, high-resolution CCTV cameras with face and vehicle recognition capabilities are being installed at 40 traffic lights along with pan-tilt-zoom cameras for regulating traffic violations. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has been awarded the contract for the installation work, which is expected to be completed by January 2022.

Earlier, in February 2021, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and CSCL signed an MoU to work closely in the areas of energy, green buildings, water and sustainability. CII, in partnership with CSCL, will create an industry engagement platform for diverse areas under smart cities such as IT, transportation and mobility, waste management, water management and urban planning. During the same month, the smart city announced its plan to develop a digital door number system comprising a QR code number, a unique property ID, and geographic information system (GIS) mapping of residential and commercial properties in Chandigarh. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 100 million.


The Aurangabad smart city has been implementing various emerging technologies such as internet of things (IoT) devices, surveillance cameras, sensors and data analytics to accelerate the deployment of smart infrastructure in the city. The city is developing a citizen app and an integrated municipal e-governance system to digitise citizen-centric applications as well as the municipal corporation’s internal activities. Furthermore, the city has planned an operation command centre that will enable the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation to ensure safe and effective service delivery. The smart city has also installed digital screens at key junctions in order to improve communication. Besides, it is integrating GPS in city buses and garbage collection vehicles. To this end, the Aurangabad smart city is establishing a citywide surveillance and integration system.


In May 2021, the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) announced its plan to set up around 15 additional smart bus shelters across the township. In addition, an IoT-enabled smart fencing from the Mahisbathan Box bridge to the Biswa Bangla gate will be deployed in the smart city. This will track the movement of garbage vehicles on the 17 km stretch of the main arterial road. The cost of the project has been estimated at around Rs 21 million. The NKDA is set to engage agencies for the project.


In October 2020, the Karnataka State High Powered Steering Committee approved an ICCC project to be set up in Bengaluru by Bengaluru Smart City Limited. The estimated cost of project is Rs 1,090 million. The project has been envisaged to be the core infrastructure for the day-to-day handling of the city operations, as well as disaster management. In the first phase, around 14 local government agencies will be brought under the ICCC platform. The ICCC will have a dashboard with data on road development, road inventory and optical fibre cable development in the city. It will provide information pertaining to the geo-enabled property tax information system, street lighting, smart system parking, etc. Meanwhile, in November 2020, Axis Bank partnered with the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to help manage its various e-payment collections through digital and offline modes. An integrated payment solution was devised to help BWSSB authorities collect payments from its customers seamlessly.


The Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) is India’s first operational smart city. To ensure smart waste management, the solid waste management (SWM) system for the city is proposed to be designed in line with the prevailing international standards in developed countries around the world. The SWM system in GIFT City consists of an automated waste collection system for the segregation and treatment of waste to avoid human intervention in the best possible way, and to reduce health and environmental risks.


The Agra smart city launched the IGiS platform, an indigenous technology that brings GIS, image processing, photogrammetry and computer-aided design together on a single platform. The platform is helping the smart city authorities in providing a multitude of solutions in the areas of defence, agriculture, forestry, disaster management, mining, smart cities, urban planning, power, utilities and location-based services, etc. To tackle the challenges brought on by the pandemic, the smart city in association with Scanpoint Geometrics Limited also created a GIS dashboard that shows various hotspots, a heat map, the number of Covid positive cases and recovered cases, etc. It has been developed on the IGiS platform.


The Pune smart city has been focusing on services in the areas of SWM, smart mobility, environment and energy, water supply, security, health and education. To this end, the Pune smart city has deployed around 50 flood sensors and 50-60 environment sensors. The smart city has around 136 emergency call boxes through which citizens can directly contact the ICCCs. In order to control the Covid-19 crisis, Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited’s ICCCs were converted into central Covid-19 war rooms to coordinate 24×7 with the 15 local war rooms in the ward offices. This helped the city administrators to effectively undertake home isolation tracking, contact tracing, ambulance tracking, and co-morbidity survey, and define hotspots and containment zones. Meanwhile, the Pune smart city is integrating ICT with public utilities such as water, gas, electricity, health services, fire services and police communications. A reliable high speed fibre network can facilitate real-time communication, making these utilities more interconnected and efficient.


In March 2021, the Patna smart city appointed Rodic Consultants as a project management consultant to design, develop, manage and implement smart city projects in the city. The cost of the project is around Rs 27.76 billion and it is expected to be commissioned by May 2022. The project includes the development of a robust infrastructure, city decongestion and operation of a mega screen, construction of e-toilets at public places, smart parking in area-base development areas, and installation of innovative 3D paintings. As part of the project, Rodic Consultants will be responsible for project design, development and construction supervision. In September 2020, the state urban development and housing department in Bihar cleared several smart city projects in Patna. These projects are approved under the Smart Cities Mission at an estimated cost of Rs 385 million.


The Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) is implementing a CCTV-based public safety and adaptive traffic management system in Gurugram and Manesar, in consultation with the Gurugram Police Department. The city is divided into six subcities. A ground-level survey of the city is being carried out to identify locations for the installation of CCTV cameras. Further, the Gurugram smart city is deploying fixed, red light violation detection (RLVD), automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) and SVD cameras. At present, ANPR and RLVD cameras have been made operational at 22 major sites. The GMDA has proposed to deploy 1,200 cameras across 222 locations in Phase I, followed by around 800 cameras in Phase II. Of the 222 sites being covered in Phase I, 200 sites under the CCTV project and 15 sites under the pilot project are operational, and work on the remaining sites is in progress. In August 2020, the GMDA awarded a pilot project for the equitable distribution and control of water on its pipeline network. The project is being carried out on a 1,200 mm pipeline between Basai and Dhanwapur on around 38 underground tanks belonging to the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram and private owners. The project involves the installation of flow meters, level sensors and flow control devices at all underground tanks. Going forward, in financial year 2022, the GMDA is planning to set up a smart parking system, a water system and an intelligent transport management system; provide data centre connectivity to buildings on the optical fibre network and other important locations; create Wi-Fi hotspots; advertise on bus shelters through ICCCs; and conduct 5G trials. S