IT gives cities a ‘smart’ makeover

Jan 07 2013, 13:27 IST
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Traffic jams have become endemic to most Indian big cities. (Reuters) Traffic jams have become endemic to most Indian big cities. (Reuters)
SummaryTraffic jams have become endemic to most Indian big cities.

Some Indian cities, in a small way, are using advanced technology to ease traffic woes and sensors to monitor water leaks, and are tracking garbage trucks through GPS to ensure they dump their waste at designated landfills. Enhancement of quality of life is the prime motivation

Traffic jams have become endemic to most Indian big cities. Not only that, erratic water supply and innumerable power cuts can really drive people crazy, especially in summer months. Thankfully, there’s a way around it and technology holds the promise to make our cities a better place to live in.

Cities in the developed world are making technology master plans and then using these plans to develop a citywide command and control network that monitors and optimises the delivery of services like power, water, traffic and healthcare. The basic premise of a smart city is making infrastructure network and delivery of services more efficient—across telecommunication, logistics, water and gas supply.

Indian cities, in a small way, are using advanced technology to solve problems. These include traffic control, using sensors to monitor water leaks, tracking garbage trucks through global positioning systems to ensure they dump their waste at designated landfills, energy management in smart buildings and complexes.

The concept of a smart city is a relatively new one, brought into limelight in India by IBM. The tech major brought its smarter planet concept to India in 2010 and today, it has over 20 projects under IBM smarter cities initiatives. To name a few cities among them are Delhi, Pune and Bangalore. Also under development are smart townships that are controlled centrally, and entire cities along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. As these projects expand, Indian cities will be ready for technology integration—which is in a nascent stage right now.

With estimates that out of the country’s 5,000-plus towns and cities, about 100 would require a 21st century urban transportation system, automation of transport services by the nation’s first intelligent transport system (ITS) in Mysore, is just the beginning. Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) invested approximately R20 crore in the project.

R Ramanan, CEO & MD, CMC, says “Intelligent transport system is a project of national importance, which can be replicated to make public transport more commuter-friendly and efficient in all our cities which are undergoing urban renewal.” CMC is engaged in and is eyeing several intelligent transportation system projects that can leverage GPS, mobile and cloud technologies to enable citizens to

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