Digitisation Transforming Nagpur

Dr. Sheel Ghule

With the rising adoption of digital tools in reshaping the urban development in India, smart cities like Nagpur are highly leveraging technology interventions like automation, AI-based cameras, and more to transform the overall liveability of the city. On this note, Dr. Sheel Ghule, General Manager, E-Governance & Nodal Officer, Nagpur Smart City addressed the Digital Governance Summit, Maharashtra Edition.

In Nagpur, we are implementing the Integrated Traffic Management System (ITMS). Also, we have the Automatic Traffic Control System (ATCS) which automatically controls the traffic signals based on the traffic density. The system controls traffic signals by assessing the density of traffic at a particular traffic junction. In case there is no movement detected on one side, the signal turns red and for the other side, it automatically turns green allowing free movement of the traffic. This not only reduces the average time for a citizen to wait at the signal but also saves fuel.

Integrated Traffic Management System
Representative Image – Integrated Traffic Management System

The ATCS has been implemented as a pilot project at a few junctions, but to get the desired outcome we have to implement it across the city. The pilot approach at times poses a challenge as the traffic flow from other signals affects the movement at these junctions.

Coming from a software engineering background and being a part of the Nagpur Police’s Bharosa Cell for Women, I am developing a mobile app for women in distress that will soon be launched. A woman in distress can use this mobile app to raise an alert. With just a double click on the virtual panic button in the app, an alert will automatically be sent to the nearest Bharosa Cell Control Room with her geographical location. Also, the app would provide directions to the police with the shortest route to the source of the alert. As of now, the app is in the final stage of development.

Integrated Command & Control Centre, Nagpur Smart City
Integrated Command & Control Centre, Nagpur Smart City

Nagpur Smart City has started using QR codes to ensure the proper delivery of door-to-door citizen services. This has enabled the authority to keep a check if the municipal vehicles are reaching out to the citizens. Sometimes, it is seen that the citizens complain about garbage collection vehicles not providing the service daily. On the other hand, there have been incidences when the collection vehicles get no response from the people or the doors were found to be locked. Therefore, the QR codes play a crucial role to keep a check on both the staff and the citizens establishing the fact if the collection was done or not.

To enhance surveillance and improve security across the city, we have installed CCTV cameras that play a key role to help police departments to investigate crime. These Smart AI-enabled cameras detect unidentified objects, mishaps, accidents, etc. and raise alerts to the police. In my opinion, every smart city in the country including Nagpur should work on adopting technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) to make our assets smart.

Smart Public Toilets
Representative Image – Smart Public Toilets

In addition to this, we are working on smart toilets. Regarding this, we have been specific about our requirements in the tender documents that include a real-time dashboard to display the number of users using it every hour. Further, after every hour the vendor should clean the toilet and if the flush gets defunct there should be additional provisions to flush the toilet. In case these toilets are not cleaned timely, an alert should automatically go to the vendor and the municipal corporation or the respective nodal officer. This will ensure that besides being smart, the toilet is clean any time a person needs to use it.