The government’s vision of a digital India emphasises the requirement of smart infrastructure for sewage, water and electricity. This, in turn, brings in the concept of “smart cities”, the main mission of which is to improve the quality of life of people by harnessing technology. A smart city is a city that seeks to become more liveable, functional and competitive through the use of new technologies, innovation and knowledge management.
Ujjain, a historical city in Madhya Pradesh, has been selected to be developed as a smart city under the government’s ambitious plan. As per the government’s directives, Ujjain Smart City Limited (USCL) aims to develop smart infrastructure and make optimum use of big data for city operations. It is planning to tap a range of approaches – digital and information technologies, best practices in urban planning, public-private partnerships, and policy change – to make a difference.
Progress so far
Vehicle tracking management system and supporting application for citizens
GPS-based data tracking system devices have been installed in the Ujjain Municipal Corporation’s (UMC) solid waste management vehicles, traffic vehicles, fire brigades, etc. A mobile application will enable users to track the location of a waste collection vehicle. In some of these vehicles, GPS/ GPRS instruments had previously been installed. It is the responsibility of the system integrator to ensure that these are integrated with the solution developed, without the need to purchase additional devices. However, for vehicles where GPS/GPRS equipment is not available, procurement of devices as per the standards mentioned is required. The software will be offered using a web-based solution that utilises a high resolution digital map, such as Google Maps, to show the real-time position of vehicles. The software will provide map-based tracking and transit routeline-based tracking of vehicles by the control centre. It will have enterprise capabilities, which enable multiple users to carry out various functions like alarm management, vehicle schedule tracking, speed management, stoppage management, route replays and vehicle-tracking dashboard as a standard functionality. The software will give the control centre management staff quick decision-making capability by providing graphical tools for visualisation. It will enable Ujjain City Transport Services Limited (UCTSL) and UMC to drill and analyse information and online data in a multidimensional manner. Comprehensive analysis and reporting capabilities are expected to be a part of the application delivery, which matches the world standard capabilities of AVLS/VTMS systems.
The software should have a multi-screen-based tracking system, capable of quickly analysing and giving a better insight into the operational data of all activities in the system. The solution developed should be scalable to support at least 1,000 vehicles and up to 150 bus stops. In addition, an unlimited number of geotagged locations grouped into various categories should be supported by the solution. The solution should assist in integration with other smart city initiatives, for example, surveillance and traffic management.
In addition, the software solution developed will be required to integrate the information provided by the GPS from the existing municipal vehicles, approximately 154 in number, which are from different vendors. The software should also have the provision to track a potentially unlimited number of e-rickshaws and other public transport vehicles (autos, cycle rickshaws, etc.) using smartphones.
USCL aims to enhance the learning outcomes of schoolchildren in government schools using diverse techniques. One of the most effective techniques to achieve this is to empower teachers by training them to use interactive techniques and multimedia content. This would help students to grasp concepts in an easier way. The interaction of technology and content with students and teachers during the teaching-learning process will make students more attentive. USCL intends to set up smart classrooms in selected government institutions of the walled city area of Ujjain. The key objectives are to increase knowledge assimilation and retention amongst school children, to enhance learning by creating a non-stressful and interactive environment, and to enable access to high quality educational materials. The aim of the Smart Classrooms project is to have multimedia content in all subjects for Classes I to XII and a language laboratory in English, Hindi and other languages in government schools in Ujjain. It also aims to have Wi-Fi in school campuses, with a minimum 4 Mbps of internet bandwidth.
However, there have been certain challenges in implementation. For instance, teachers and students are not tech-savvy. To address this issue, the plan is to train all teachers before going live. All the teachers have to be adequately trained and ready to use the equipment. Further, in order to monitor the use and performance of smart classrooms after the implementation, a management information system has been incorporated.
The way forward
As part of the IT scheme, the plan is to incorporate something new every time, which would give citizens a technology-based, hassle-free life.