Bharat Electronics Limited.

One of Chandigarh’s key goals within its smart city initiative is to bolster safety and security, enhance the efficiency of municipal services, and elevate the overall quality of life for its residents. To realise these aspirations, a resilient ICT infrastructure has been established to facilitate digital applications, ensuring the smooth operation of essential city functions, city management, surveillance, emergency response systems, and real-time monitoring of services and critical city indicators across various government departments. This article sheds light on the capabilities that Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has developed during the implementation of the Chandigarh Smart City Project (ICCC).

The key objective of the Integrated Command and Control Centre is to establish a collaborative framework where input from different functional departments of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and other stakeholders such as transport, water, fire, police, etc. will be assimilated and analysed on a single platform; consequently, resulting in aggregated city level information. Further this aggregated city level information can be converted to actionable intelligence, which would be propagated to relevant stakeholders and citizens.

The Integrated Command and Control Centre has been established as a digital platform for government and citizen interaction.It works towards Improving the quality of services offered to local citizens and bringing up the service levels.

With the Chandigarh Smart City Limited managing to put its state of the art Integrated Command and Control Centre in place, the city has been able to establish itself as one of the most technically savvy and citizen centric cities of the country.

The entire project is trying to achieve a “low carbon footprint” and these initiatives will make Chandigarh as one of the most liveable cities of the country and also in the world.

The project is being viewed as a showcase for other city administrations. and the visits by many city administrators to the Chandigarh ICCC have lauded the project and its outcomes.

It aims to benefit the community enormously as it facilitates enhanced safety and security for the ordinary citizens of the city of Chandigarh The state of the art technology and AI tools are helping the local police to reduce the crime rate and in much shorter time

Also technology interventions are helping the local police to deploy more personnel for policing duties ATCS is helping to reduce the Carbon footprint by reduction of fuel consumption at junction points

All entry & exit points of Chandigarh are being constantly monitored by a highly efficient Video surveillance system backed by ANPR and AI tools like facial recognition technology for tracing the Vehicles and people of Interest!

The Objectives of Integrated Command and Control Centre are given below:

  • Improving the internal management of the agencies providing citizen services.
  • Promoting administrative functions to be carried over online.
  • Engage citizens in the process of Governance through interaction.
  • Empower citizens through access to knowledge and information and make the working of the government more efficient and effective.
  • Enhanced transparency, convenience and empowerment; less corruption; revenue growth; and cost reduction.

However, the execution of this project was faced with various challenges:

Technical Challenges

1. The foremost challenge that BEL faced was – lack of adequate inhouse expertise at BEL Panchkula and this was the first time that a turnkey project of this scale and complexity was undertaken wherein, apart from civil construction, multiple technology domains were also deployed.

2. Secondly the delivery schedules were very tight and closely monitored by the customer, and since Chandigarh also serves as a capital to two crucial Indian states made it very crucial to adhere to these timelines.

3. The Covid 19 also impacted the supply chain for some crucial technology components of the project that were to be imported like, IT HW ( Servers, Workstations etc).

4. Dedicated Fiber deployment across length and breadth of city.

5. Delay in excavation and road cutting permissions for laying of Fiber from other government institutions like Railways, Forest department etc

6. In some cases the site feasibility was not there for which we had to alter our solution ( due to presence of other utilities like Sewage, water, electricity etc)

7. Effective mitigation plan to ensure the schedules are not affected due to Covid-19.

8. Ensuring fields team availability amid lockdown

9. Indulging in a virtual way of working to ensure safe and precise deliverables.

Ad-hoc data centre/ Data centre build detailed engagement/ contractual modelling with all OEMs (approx. 15) and multiple contractors for on field work (as extended hands & eyes of BEL).

Management Challenges

1. Nature was tough this time with COVID-19 in full swing and many challenges were on the way to meet the deadlines like:

  • To meet the delivery of Milestones.
  • To reach out to the OEMs/ Vendor for procurement of components to deliver the IT Solution project.
  • Ensure the Team availability amid lockdown
  • Managing the prevailing virtual way of working to ensure safe and precise deliverables.

2. A Cross Functional Team consisting of Personnel from different domains under leadership of Experienced PMP’s was formed. To maintain Harmony & getting Output in a stipulated frame of time while meeting the customer expectation was a challenge.

3. Team of Smart City Chandigarh Project very effectively Handled Multiple Contractors for on field work (as extended hands & eyes of BEL) and convinced them to multiply the resources to get the things back on track within project schedule as many activities at one point of time got delayed due to pandemic.

4. Overcoming the supply chain challenges – by constantly indulging with suppliers and using management interventions wherever required.

Steps Taken to Overcome Challenges

i. Early engagement with all identified OEMs/ Vendors/ different external stakeholders and ensuring deliverables as per the technical compliances – includes the entire life cycle of Evaluation /POCs/ BOQ finalisation/ Commercial negotiations/ final orderDelivery/ acceptance and payments).

ii. Adoption of agile methodology for timely executions/ simultaneous run of multi domain activities.

iii. Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time based approach.

iv. Engaging the global best practices for project management especially past experiences of deploying Smart Cities in india.

v. Zero Tolerance on quality.

vi. Involvement of each department to finalise their KPI / SoP & Use cases.

Vii. Regular meetings to apprise all the stakeholders and seeking interventions at the appropriate stages.

Therefore, in the successful implementation of Chandigarh Smart City, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has emerged as a key player in the successful implementation of the Chandigarh Smart City Project, particularly through its contributions to the Integrated Command and Control Center (ICCC). BEL’s capabilities have been instrumental in creating a technological backbone that supports the city’s objectives, allowing for seamless operations and efficient service delivery.

As the project continues to evolve and mature, BEL’s expertise and innovations will remain essential in sustaining and further enhancing the smart city initiatives in Chandigarh. Their role serves as a testament to the critical role that technology and public-private partnerships play in the development and success of smart cities around the world.

Views expressed by: Bharat Electronics Limited.


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