Model Complex: MMRDA’s initiatives to develop BKC as a smart city

MMRDA’s initiatives to develop BKC as a smart city

Launched in June 2015 by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), the Smart Cities Mission (SCM) aims to develop 100 smart cities in the country by applying smart solutions to provide core infrastructure and quality of life to citizens. The mission predominantly focuses on economic development of cities, promoting a sustainable environment and devising a framework for improving the quality of life for citizens. The SCM focuses on four pillars of infrastructure development – physical, institutional, social and economic. A smart city involves the retrofitment and redevelopment of projects (brownfield), undertaking greenfield projects and pan city projects.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) Smart BandraKurla Complex (BKC) initiative aligns with MoUD’s SCM statement and guidelines, as well as with Maharashtra government’s smart city development plan, smart business processes and smart integrated IT suite.

Smart Utilities gives a detailed account of the scope and initiatives undertaken under the Smart BKC project…

About BKC

The BKC was instituted by the MMRDA to create an easily accessible, intelligent and sustainable international financial and business hub. It houses a number of financial and business institutions such as the National Stock Exchange, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, ICICI Bank, Citibank, Dena Bank, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, Jammu & Kashmir Bank National Business Centre, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (head office), IL&FS Limited, the Asian Heart Institute, Dow Chemicals, Bharat Diamond Bourse, DhirubhaiAmbani International School, American School of Bombay and Fortune 500 companies. It is also home to the Mumbai Cricket Association’s cricket ground and the Consulate General of the United States. Open plots in the BKC area are given out on rent to host events.

 About the project

The Smart BKC vision is based on the benchmarks outlined for the implementation of smart cities across the globe. The Smart BKC project has three stages – Smart BKC 1.0 (reactive smart infrastructure and technologies), Smart BKC 2.0 (proactive maturing technologies) and Smart BKC 3.0 (smart and high performing futuristic technologies).

Smart BKC 1.0 involves harnessing the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) to transform the BKC into a model region of the future, focused on three key aspects – livability, workability and sustainability. It envisages undertaking key initiatives with a strong ICT backbone for ensuring a seamless experience for tenants, employees and other stakeholders with reduced energy consumption and environmental stress.

The MMRDA, which is Maharashtra’s apex planning and policymaking body, has rolled out its Smart BKC initiatives under three categories – ICT, non-ICT and urban design.

  • ICT: This comprises municipal Wi-Fi, smart parking, video analytics and citizen apps, smart building installations, and smart kiosk information zone.
  • Non-ICT: It involves E-buses (hybrid and pure electric), solar powered streetlights with smart grid, cleaning the Mithi river, low carbon/green and clean fuel zone, etc.
  • Urban design: This initiative involves green buildings, smart street furniture, online building plan approval, ease of doing business, digital geographic information system and global positioning services-enabled services, green parks, etc.

The scope of these initiatives, covering 160 hectares of E and G blocks of BKC, involves the implementation of:

  • Public Wi-Fi and related wired network infrastructure: Seamless Wi-Fi connection with 2 Mbps free with 1 GB limit per user per month available at open spaces and streets for business and exhibition use
  • Smart parking with parking guidance systems for around 2,844 parking slots: Smart indoor parking, smart outdoor parking, smart street parking
  • Citizen mobile application and online citizen portal: Point of interest, offices, parking lot and bus locater, personal safety apps, event and emergency information and response
  • Integrated building monitoring system: To enable buildings to share and compete on energy parameters across BKC and enhance efficiency by analysing consumption patterns, adapting to green building standards and developing BKC as an energy-efficient zone
  • Centralised command and control centre: 24×7, 365 days centralised monitoring, primary video analytics to the BKC police for incident monitoring, smart analytics to the MMRDA for IOT integration (Wi-Fi, sensors, CCTV cameras, etc.), multi-channel communication for smart analytics, and SOS monitoring for effective disaster management
  • Energy efficient street lights: Currently, there are about 815 electric poles in the BKC area. The energy efficient street lights initiative intends to convert the existing 1,317 sodium vapour lights to energy efficient LED lamps to reduce power consumption. The initiative will be implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited, a joint venture of NTPC Limited, the Power Finance Corporation, the Rural Electrification Corporation and Power Grid Corporation of India Limited.
  • CCTVs: Under the Mumbai CCTV project, the Maharashtra government plans to install about 6,000 CCTV cameras within Mumbai city. The Mumbai CCTV project covers the BKC area and about 74 cameras will be installed under the project. Considering the additional requirements of CCTV cameras for the Smart BKC project, the MMRDA has requested the state government to install additional 81 cameras within BKC. It has also requested for video analytics application for all the cameras installed within BKC. The installation of CCTV cameras will be undertaken by the Mumbai CCTV project consultant appointed by the state government.

Future plan

The MMRDA has decided to prepare a master plan for the integrated development of 28 commercial and 10 residential buildings in BKC’s E block. The plan will include seminal designs for buildings with features such as recreational gardens, sky gardens, pedestrian plazas, and an iconic pedestrian bridge across the Mithi river. The total built-up area will be 15.9 hectares. Further, as per the revised guidelines issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, structures in the BKC area could now be 80 metres tall instead of 40 metres. The MMRDA plans to use the revenues earned for the improvement of infrastructure in BKC and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

Going forward, the successful development of non-mission cities such as BKC will serve as a model for other cities. Further, lessons can be drawn from the experience of such domestic non-mission cities and global smart cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelona and Copenhagen. In fact, India has collaborated with several international agencies to gain technical expertise in this domain. These include MoUs with Canada, Belgium, South Korea, Singapore, the UK and Sweden.