While it has initiated the process of introducing the principles of a smart city in the Bandra Kurla Complex, the city’s development authority has also decided to develop all upcoming hubs in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region as smart cities.
UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), said, “The idea is that when any brand new area is developed as a greenfield development, then we should have components of a smart city in it.
It is much easier to make a greenfield project a smart city than retrofitting these components in existing areas.”
The MMRDA is considering developing five growth centres — Vasai-Virar, Bhiwandi, Greater Kalyan, Greater Panvel and Pen-Alibaug – in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region along the proposed 126-km Virar-Alibaug Multi Modal Corridor.
“The plan still has to be crystallised, but once we finalise these pockets, they will all be developed as smart cities,” said Madan. Besides, MMRDA had also been planning to transform Wadala and Oshiwara as business hubs.
In smart cities, data collected through sensors enable real time monitoring by authorities and is used to enhance efficiency in utilities and citizens’ services such as electricity, water, drainage, gas, traffic, parking etc.
Effective eco-friendly transportation systems, transparent processes for commercial activities and online approval systems are other hallmarks of a smart city.
Madan said introducing smart city components in Oshiwara would be difficult because much development had already taken place there and the authority would have to resort to retro-fitting.
Meanwhile, the development authority is in the process of re-tendering the contract for the development of Bandra Kurla Complex as a smart city, despite good response from companies.
The state information technology department has asked MMRDA to scale down the manpower requirement for the team that will set up and operate the smart city initiatives.
“We had received some offers, but the state IT department has now suggested some changes in the number of people on the team that will work on the smart city project. Our estimate was a little on the higher side,” said Madan.
Under the plan, MMRDA will first cover the 175-hectare area with a public wi-fi network having a high internet speed of 5 Mbps.
Ninety surveillance cameras will be set up in the E-block and G-block of the complex with direct co-ordination between security agencies.
A smart parking facility will be introduced for vehicles to know the nearest available parking slots of the 3,000 in the complex.
Citizen-centric mobile applications will be launched for emergency services and to provide details of nearest restaurants.