A smart city is a dynamic ecosystem of citizens, authorities, companies and research centres that cooperate to develop products and services for an attractive and sustainable city. Smart forces are required so as to have smart cities in place: smart economy, smart environment, smart governance, smart mobility, smart living and above all, smart people have an important role to play in this ecosystem. In addition, we also need to have proper education for our citizens. e-learning, human capital and R&D are the factors that will contribute to the same. For smart governance, three factors are very important: transparency, technology and time saving. For all these to implement well, we also need to have ICT process in place.
If we want to synchronise urban mobility, space and location, we would require spatial data, geographical data and maps. However, having talked of that, if one is getting it into Smart City management, including management of business, rural areas, different developmental skills, etc., inaccessibility to data comes as a huge impediment. Even if the data is available, one doesn’t know where those data sets are lying and which agency is collecting what data. Thankfully, now some advancements have taken place. In addition to it, interoperability is an important aspect and is being addressed now. All this is about data and unfortunately, data is inadequate. The computer must provide the required services for use in support. That’s the future!
All civilisations have flourished on the banks of river, but floods destroyed them. In all these civilisations, we saw that transportation of water was minimal. Also, energy required to transport it was quite less. Though these societies were architecturally very sound, geologically, they were not located on a stable habitation. With Britishers came the Industrial Revolution, along with the concept of transporting water. The invention of pumping machinery led to transportation of water for the first time, and over the years, it became a costly affair. Industrial revolution brought not only the pumping machinery, but also pollution. If we are thinking of the future generations, time has come that we think about these serious issues.
A city with self-reliant, self-renewing economic activity and ecological footprint ensuring quality of life of all the stakeholders is a sustainable city. For every rupee of economy, we are looking at the smallest energy consumption. There are a whole bunch of challenges when we look at constructing sustainable cities: the need to grow, escape from poverty and ageing infrastructure, uncertain future growth, fundamental doubts about market-led approaches, etc. Dependence on fossil fuel-powered vehicles, increasing democratisation of decision-making as well as increasing awareness of social and economic rights among ordinary people leads to the people power coming up. Whenever we talk about smart cities, it’s not just the government’s duty and responsibility; it’s for the people, civil society, NGOs and everybody out there to come together and implement what we are talking about.
Bhopal on the Move
A clean, green and developed Bhopal – with this determination, our representatives are working with the Bhopal Government. The sole aim is to make our city smart. We wish to see Bhopal as a Digital and Heritage City as it has got much scope for development. Across the country, we have toilets for men, but it’s not the same in the case of women. Thus, we are going to create ‘She Lounges’ in the city for the convenience of women. The Prime Minister recently launched the ‘100 Smart Cities’ project and the ‘Housing for All by 2022’ scheme. Recently, we have also constructed nearly 12,000 houses that have been allotted to poor people. In the coming days, we are going to develop around 50,000 more affordable houses in the near future. We are undertaking development projects in larger public interests.
Smart Grid Vision
The Smart Grid vision and roadmap launched on 13th August 2013 talks about how we envisage the vision of Smart Grid in India. We are working on the Smart City framework and the Smart City Maturity Model (SCMM), on which we can map all assets to further plan and envisage our assets and their conditions for the next 10 years. Digitised GIS maps with electricity utility are available in 1,411 towns. Channelising our smart grid assets for smart cities is an essential step to be taken. We have zones like markets, households, industries, etc., so, we can just integrate these on GIS map. We can also have integration of billing systems and there are various domains to be talked about – gas, water, transportation and sewerage. All these can be integrated with one platform and we can call it as inter-dependency. The necessary step to be taken is that we need to integrate each and every domain.