In the recently concluded Smart Cities workshop-City Infra Outlook and Development plan-by the Smart Cities Council India, decision makers and solution providers closely examined what Solapur should do in order to enable a vibrant city operating platform. This workshop also examined what needs to be put in place in order to capitalise from innovation in other cities. The workshop was a great learning experience and threw up many opportunities for the Council's partners.
Solapur was among the top 10 cities that was selected under the smart city mission. The projects undertaken under this mission will enable Solapur to catch up with other developed cities in Maharashtra and become one of the prominent cities in the state.
The inaugural session was an amalgamation of profound ideas shared by authorities associated with Solapur smart city plan. Here, to make the city clean, efficient and progressive, Sanjay Teli, CEO, Solapur City Development Corporation, explained that the city has adopted nine development models that include 100 per cent waste management, clean environment, housing for all, renewable energy, transportation, water supply and recycling, use of public space and efficient governance.
Pratap Padode, Founder & Director, Smart Cities Council India in his opening remarks outlined the objectives of the workshop and stated the rationale of choosing Solapur was 'to help the cities that needed it most and where the Council could help accelerate get Solapur Smart City ready!' He also presented the current state of affairs in Solapur and provided areas where it could make a big difference. A research report prepared by Smart Cities Council India was released by all the dignitaries during the inaugural session.
Dr Rajendra Bhonsle, District Collector, Solapur emphasised on citizen engagement to improve green cover in the city. 'To reduce dust and pollution, we must implement green zones and citizens should take its ownership,' he suggested. The district collector requested the city authority to undertake smart mobility plan on a long-term basis.
That said, Avinash Dhakne, Commissioner, Solapur Municipal Corporation explained areas of concern in Solapur for instance water management, waste management, mobility, increasing revenue taxes and public-private partnership projects. 'There isn't enough water available for households, let alone industries, which becomes a barrier to economic growth. And even what is available is plagued by inefficient distribution and collection,' he said.
According to Shobha Banshetti, Mayor, Solapur the projects undertaken under this mission will enable Solapur to catch up with other developed cities in Maharashtra and become one of the prominent cities in the state. However, 'The SPV must fast-track envisaged projects to show results to citizens of Solapur.'
Chief Guest, Subhash Deshmukh, Minister of Cooperation Marketing and Textiles, Government of Maharashtra, asked city representatives to come together and make city clean with the help of Swachh Bharat programme. The minister directed city authorities and various departments to work together instead of in silos to make the smart city programme successful.
Mahadev Tambade, Commissioner of Police, Solapur explained the role of police department in smart cities. He stressed upon deployment of surveillance cameras for security, and for efficient synchronisation in city services-a command and control centre. He pointed out that his department had already executed the e-challan system so that offenders are alerted as soon as the offence is committed.
Solution to Implementation
The summit also witnessed an interactive session between city authorities and experts from UltraTech, Cisco Systems, Schneider Electric, Maharashtra Energy Development Corporation, Owens Corning, Mindteck, Itron and Responscity Systems.
Here, Council Partners provided solutions on how the city can recycle 100 per cent waste water, avoid water pilferage with the help of leak-detection systems and SCADA, have systems to monitor solid waste management services at the ward level, implement 100 per cent waste management, or use of smart metering and solar energy with smart streetlights. The partners provided city authorities solutions to improve revenue with the help of GIS-based asset management systems, and use of digital platforms for complaint management. Presentations were made on Command & Control Centres in keeping with the city's plan of issuing tenders for the same.
This seems to be a big question for every urban local body. However, the Council's partner Responscity suggested creating a digital infrastructure to overcome these impediments, on the lines of Vapi, Gujarat, where every house has been equipped with near frequency communication (NFC) sensors and a digital address.
That apart, Itron explained the importance of Automated Meter Reading (AMR) to enhance revenue generation. The company showcased NMMC project where they have deployed 1,00,000 Itron meters on which AMR data reading has been done and further that data is provided to NMMC for their billing purposes in XML format. The AMR solution enabled NMMC to significantly improve data collection and understand its own customers' energy usage.
During this session, Cisco Systems shared their learning experiences and city-wise customised solutions to the audience. The company appraised city authorities on Cisco Digital Platform and how this can address traditional operational challenges including traffic management, public safety, city lighting, pollution and environment, waste management and parking optimisation to an integrated control centre.
Schneider Electric emphasising use of low carbon, low emission smart solutions for the city. The company showcased its interactive command and control centre to the city leaders which covers transportation, surveillance, citizen applications, end-to-end smart grid solutions, end-to-end water management system and integrated building management system.
Mindtek explained current parking challenges such as lack of information on real-time parking space availability, traffic congestion, underutilisation of parking space, etc., and how efficiently digitisation can help. The company elucidated their smart parking offerings - sensor and camera-based alongwith mobile apps which can provide real time occupancy of various parking lots, easy and convenient booking option and integration with payment gateway for payments.
Solutions for Smart Cities
Here, the event's sponsor-UltraTech Cement, -provided faster and quicker solutions for building and construction. According to UltraTech, considering mass housing programme of the government, by adopting RMD Technology the houses will be delivered in record time - 1/4th of conventional time, in real time situation, this will be much faster considering labour issues. By casting all the building elements at one go, which is monolithic in nature, results in elimination of stage construction practice, thus drives RMD technology in bigger and faster way in mass housing sectors, presently this sector strive to deliver the houses for urban poor and middle class due to lack of technology.
Owens Corning a composite and building material solution provider highlighted the importance of glass fiber composites which are light weight, long lasting, high strength, moisture resistance, fire resistance and can be used in sectors including water, waste and energy management.
The Seminar was highly successful and witnessed an audience of around 200 which included the important dignitaries, government officials besides relevant organisations and financial institutions.