Four years into its implementation, the central government’s Smart Cities Mission has gained significant
traction. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has selected 100 cities since the launch
of the mission in July 2015. In Round I, 20 cities were selected, followed by 13 in the Fast-Track
Round, 27 in Round II, 30 in Round III and another 10 cities under Round IV of the mission. Shillong was announced as the 100th smart city of the country in June 2018.
Over the course of the past four years, the selected cities have adopted a number of innovative technology solutions and IT systems for better control and monitoring of infrastructure. Key cities such as Nagpur, Pune, Ahmedabad, Indore, Bhopal, Chennai, Surat, Ranchi, Lucknow and Warangal have launched initiatives for the deployment of advanced communications systems, intelligent transit management systems, smart meters, GIS and GPRS for solid waste management, online billing systems, mobile-based complaint redressal systems, and integrated command and control centres to provide a single interface for multiple solutions. Tier II and Tier III cities too have started undertaking initiatives to increase technology adoption.
Private sector participation is also being encouraged in this space for improved efficiency and cost optimisation. Customised solutions are being designed and deployed. New and advanced technologies such as internet of things (IoT)-based smart pipes, leak detection robots and SmartBall leak detection solutions are gaining prominence.
The smart cities segment is witnessing high growth and seems poised for changes in technology. The
experience so far suggests that there is huge scope for improving service delivery and scaling up investments. Thus, the segment offers huge opportunities for technology providers, manufacturers of pipelines and other key materials, and equipment suppliers.
This issue of Smart Utilities discusses the smart governance and waste management initiatives taken under the Smart Cities Mission. New IT initiatives taken by select power distribution and water supply utilities have also been showcased. In addition, it discusses the smart metering and customer relationship management solutions adopted by city gas distribution utilities in India, and highlights the progress in smart metering under government schemes.