Urban Solutions

ICT interventions come to Nagpur’s aid

In August 2016, Nagpur was selected to be developed as a smart city under Round II of the Smart Cities Mission (SCM). The city is expected to see a transformation through the introduction of several information and communications technology (ICT)-based interventions and the deployment of urban infrastructure solutions.

Nagpur Smart and Sustainable City Development Corporation Limited (NSSCDCL) has been incorporated as the nodal agency to implement these initiatives. At present, projects involving the installation of CCTV cameras, the setting up of public Wi-Fi hotspots, and the deployment of smart transport and traffic management systems in the city have been completed. Meanwhile, work on area-based development (ABD) projects such as water supply and road construction are in progress in the East Nagpur area. To execute the works, private players such as Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Shapoorji Pallonji have been roped in and adequate funds have been allocated.

Progress so far

Nagpur has made significant headway in the execution of smart ICT-based projects under the SCM. The first pan-city integrated safe and smart city project, which involved an investment of Rs 5.2 billion, has been completed. The contract was awarded to L&T in August 2016. As part of the project, 1,200 km of optical fibre network has been laid, 136 public Wi-Fi hotspots and 100 digital-interactive kiosks have been developed and around 3,800 city-wide surveillance cameras have been installed. For real-time monitoring, information and live feeds on parking areas, smart bins, street lighting, buses and traffic signal violations are transmitted to the Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) operation centre and the integrated control and command centre (ICCC) located at the police headquarters. To track traffic light offenders, smart technologies such as red-light violation detection and automatic number plate recognition systems have been deployed across 700 intersections of the city. An adaptive traffic control system has been put in place to manage the traffic load. Through the system, the traffic department optimises signal timings by using sensors, which monitor the traffic flow and vehicle density, thereby enabling it to manage traffic flow on a real-time basis.

Another initiative involving the development of a 6-km stretch (from Garden Square to Orange City hospital), using smart ICT-based solutions, has been taken up as part of the project. This includes the development of a smart solid waste management (SWM) system, a smart transport system, and smart parking and street lighting projects. Under the smart SWM system, 20 dustbins equipped with smart sensors have been placed along the stretch. Once the dustbins are filled to the brim, signals are sent to NMC’s operation centre through sensors. All garbage collection and transportation vehicles are equipped with geo-positioning systems to provide information about their exact location for ensuring effective management of waste.

Further, L&T has put in place 49 variable message signboards, 383 smart street lights, 10 environment sensors and 56 public announcement systems to improve the quality of life of Nagpur’s citizens. Other smart technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles have also been deployed to monitor crowded places.

With respect to progress on ABD projects, works worth Rs 33.51 billion, covering 1,743 acres in Pardi, Punapur, Bharatwada and Bhandewadi, have been approved for execution in phases. The contract for Phase I – involving the construction of a 55-km road network, laying of water and sewer lines, etc., at an investment of Rs 6.5 billion – has been awarded to Shapoorji Pallonji. Work is currently under way and is expected to be completed by July 2019. Subsequently, health and education facilities, and recreational areas such as parks will be developed as part of the project. For project execution, NSSCDCL has received funds totalling Rs 1.94 billion from the central government, Rs 1.93 billion from the state government (including Rs 500 million from the City and Industrial Development Corporation) and Rs 500 million from the Nagpur Improvement Trust.

Conclusion

Nagpur has made substantial progress under the mission and topped the smart cities ranking in June 2018. The installation of security cameras has helped in reducing crime in the city, thereby improving the law and order situation. These achievements have been made possible through the timely completion of projects, which have been supported by private players and the availability of funds.

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