Information and communication technology (ICT) is the key foundational element in any smart city. Since technology forms the building block of any smart city, various initiatives centred around new-age technology solutions have been undertaken by smart cities in India. The goal behind launching various innovative technologies is to develop a robust communications infrastructure for greater efficiency. As part of their going digital initiative, smart cities are developing online portals for civic services, deploying automation and instrumentation tools for asset monitoring and maintenance and enabling 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.
A look at some of the initiatives taken by several smart cities to provide better services…
The Pune smart city has been focusing on services in the areas of solid waste management, smart mobility, environment and energy, water supply, security, health and education. At present, there are 300 Wi-Fi hotspots at public gardens, hospitals, police stations and other strategic locations. Further, variable message displays (VMDs) is active at 161 locations across Pune. These VMDs broadcast informative messages, alerts and Pune city updates, among other things. In addition, around 136 emergency call boxes have been installed for citizens’ safety across the city. These can be used by citizens to seek help in case of emergency situations and accidents. Over and above this, around 136 public address systems have been installed at various sites to broadcast audio messages for emergency and for generating awareness among citizens. As far as initiatives around environment are concerned, environment sensors have been installed at 50 locations so far, to monitor critical parameters such as sound, temperature, air quality, etc. Moreover, flood sensors have been installed at 32 locations, including bridges, canals and banks of rivers to measure live updates in the rise of water levels at these locations.
The Pune smart city has also launched various optic fibre cable (OFC)-enabled services. These include the installation of surveillance and security cameras, which are connected via OFC and have sensors that can sense suspicious activity, the source of which can be detected through the OFC network. Further, Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited’s stakeholders are focused on building smart infrastructure, connected through internet of things that can autonomously perform preset actions. Thus, with fibre optics, urban infrastructure can be connected to city facilities and be transformed into smart buildings.
In addition, the Pune smart city is integrating ICT with public utilities such as water, gas, electricity, health services, fire services and police communications.
The Gurugram smart city has planned an OFC backbone network for the entire area of the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), which comprises Gurugram and Manesar. Laying of fibre is being carried out under the public-private participation model at two locations. The smart city has planned a fibre network stretching over 600 km to provide the necessary connectivity for surveillance equipment to be deployed across 358 locations, government buildings, police stations and other smart city services. To this end, the smart city has already laid about 400 km of OFC in sub-city 1-5 to connect all CCTV locations, government buildings, etc.
The GMDA is also implementing a CCTV-based public safety and adaptive traffic management system in Gurugram and Manesar, in consultation with the Gurugram Police Department. 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 junctions. The system is able to track the vehicle via number and capture red light violations. Further, for integration of e-challan following red light violation, the system is integrated with the National Informatics Centre database and auto challan started by the police department.
Further, the GMDA has proposed to deploy 1,200 cameras across 222 locations in Phase I. 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. Daily manual challans as well as e-challan are generated with the help of feeds from these cameras.
Going forward, in financial year 2022, the GMDA is planning to launch a smart water system for the entire Gurugram city. Further, the city authority will undertake Phase II of the CCTV project at 138 locations, which will entail setting up of 800 CCTV cameras. The GMDA will also set up adaptive traffic light control systems at various locations and establish OFC connectivity at bus shelters, government offices, police stations, markets, courts, parks and other important locations.
Most recently, in March 2022, Bengaluru Smart City Limited launched an ICCC to deal with any emergencies and civic problems. The ICCC platform would be integrated with 14 government departments for service delivery, which impacts the day-to-day life of citizens. The command centre will be monitored 24×7, offering many other services such as analytics and business intelligence service, integrated emergency/ disaster response coordination service, integrated grievance management service, integrated mobility management service, public projects information management service and GIS service for Bengaluru. The ICCC implementation is covering 14 line departments including the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited, Bengaluru Traffic Police, Bangalore City Police, the Pollution Board and the health department. The ICCC is integrated with various IT systems of different stakeholders with the objective of enhancing safety, security and providing better public services in cities. The ICCC will provide city officials/decision-makers/city administrators a one-stop shop from where they can view the health of the city and carry out evidence-based decision-making in day-to-day operations, emergency situations or large-scale situations.
In May 2021, the New Town Kolkata Development Authority 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.
Recently in March 2022, the Kolkata Metro Railway has installed automated ticket vending and smart card recharge machines. About 10 automatic smart card recharge machines have been set up. These machines have been installed at nine north-south metro stations.
Chandigarh is slated to get its ICCC towards the end of March 2022. The centre will be used to keep a check on traffic violators, monitor municipal corporation services and resident complaint redressal. The ICCC will monitor smart field elements such as CCTV surveillance, wherein more than 1,000 cameras are installed for real-time surveillance of major junctions and important landmarks such as water works, parks, government hospitals, community centres, parking locations and schools at around 285 locations. As part of the ICCC, the intelligent traffic management system (ITMS) has also been installed. The ITMS further comprises traffic enforcement RLVD (40 junctions), overspeeding violation (10 systems) and ANPR systems.
The adaptive traffic control system, which monitors real-time traffic conditions and uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to improve the signal timing, is also expected to become fully operational soon. This system is installed on 40 junctions.
In addition to these systems, a public address system and variable message signs are also installed to disseminate information such as traffic alerts and meteorological information at 40 junctions.
For communication, a citywide OFC backbone of more than 250 km has been installed. This high speed network shall provide the infrastructure for future expansions of the project.
The Jammu smart city will soon have an ICCC, ITMS and web GIS-based e-bill pay for civic services under the Jammu Smart City Project.
Jammu Smart City Limited has signed a contract with Bharat Electronics Limited for setting up an ICCC for Jammu city at a cost of Rs 530 million. The ICCC will integrate all civic and essential services on a single platform to facilitate monitoring and addressing public issues in real time.
The ICCC project will help in establishing a collaborative framework, where inputs from different functional departments of the Jammu Municipal Corporation and other stakeholders such as the Jammu Development Authority, transport, water, fire, police and e-governance can be assimilated and analysed on a single platform, resulting in aggregated city-level information.
The command centre will be one place from where traffic, CCTV, water and other services would be integrated into a single command room.