Is India Prepared to take in Smart Solutions?
With each city having its unique problems, the major challenge lies in recognising the technologies and its apt usage
“Technology has never been a challenge, it’s for the managers to understand the technology and where it can be brought in to its best use,” says Sanjay Jaju, Director, National Highway & Infrastructure Development Corp in the 5th Smart Cities Conclave & Awards held in New Delhi. He paid some emphasis on the use of Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to make cities smarter. “Crowd management, city infrastructure, sensors to monitor environmental changes, parking, outdoor lightings, accident detection and location analysis are some of the areas where IoT and AI can be used in the smart city project,” he added.
In Jalandhar with the population of 11 lakh, the smart city project is of Rs 1,950 crore. The smart city project is centred around the city, being a sports good manufacturing destination, where the major part of Rs 1,500 crore is being spent according to Dr Basant Garg, Commissioner, Jalandhar Municipal Corporation. “Currently we are focusing on modernising our solid waste system, water supply and sewage wastewater management system, traffic safety and security, and also we are looking at having a robust network where all the application can function,” Garg said.
With each city having its unique problems, the major challenge lies in recognising the technologies and its apt usage. Talking about Ahmedabad, it is one of the first cities which surpassed the selection process of Smart Cities. In Ahmedabad, ‘The safe and secure Ahmedabad project’ has already been started and is expected to get over by January 2018, as per as the information shared by Rakesh Shankar, CEO, Ahmedabad Smart City Ltd. The more than ten projects running into the pipeline, the total budget for the smart city project in Ahmedabad is Rs 1,200 crore.
To move into more city-based perspective, Manojit Bose, Chief Knowledge Officer, Pune Smart City Development Corporation Ltd, spoke about some technology-based innovations that are being used in Pune. “We are implementing and installing a whole lot of environmental sensors which will be integrated into our centralised command centres,” he says. The amount of data that will be captured in this process will be analysed and will further be converted into information.
However, in between all these technological developments and initiative to make cities smarter, Gokul Kumar Simli, CTO, Ministry of External Affairs, GOI feels that there are several challenges to it. “We are not able to replicate whatever innovations we are doing; Innovations on business models are not uniform; we don’t have proper capacity creations for smart cities and of course the major challenge that we are dealing with is the security concerns,” Simli added.