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  #281  
Old Posted May 8, 2017, 8:51 AM
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Exhibitions India to attract 400 exhibitors from 40 countries for 'One Mega Event'
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Bringing five expos - Buildings India 2017 expo, Solar India 2017 expo, Transport India 2017 expo, Smart Cities India 2017 expo and Water India 2017 expo - under one roof, the vision of One Mega Event, hosted by the Exhibitions India Group, is to help develop attractive and safe cities that evoke pride and a sense of belonging among citizens.
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Building on the success of the previous two international Smart Cities expos, the Exhibitions India Group plays host to One Mega Event: Smarter Solutions for a Better Tomorrow. The event will take place at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi during May 10-12, 2017.
One mega event: Shaping the future of Smart Cities

Mumbai All Set to Get Dazzled as LED Expo Returns with Innovations from More than 200 Companies

Whether the government is uploading all sessions to youtube or somewhere?

Last edited by BolliBatlu; May 11, 2017 at 4:42 AM. Reason: added last paragraph
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  #282  
Old Posted May 10, 2017, 1:00 PM
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Govt to kick off measuring liveability in major cities next month
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To start with, Liveability Standards of 140 cities including 53 cities with population of one million and above and Smart Cities will be assessed. The ministry has already invited bids for selecting the agency for carrying out the assessment based on the parameters evolved by the ministry.

It has come out with a detailed document on "Methodology for Collection and Computation of Liveability Standards in Cities" for the benefit of states and cities.

Cities will be assessed on 15 core parameters relating to governance, social infrastructure pertaining to education, health and safety and security, economic aspects and physical infrastructure like housing, open spaces, land use, energy and water availability, solid waste management and pollution. Cities will be ranked based on Liveability Index that would cover a total of 79 aspects.
Liveability Index

Have one award each for walkability, green space index, street vendor infrastructure, renewable energy usage ratio also.

India elected president of UN-Habitat, a United Nations organ promoting sustainable settlements
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  #283  
Old Posted May 27, 2017, 3:49 PM
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How Swachch Bharat survey may have penalised clean cities
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NEW DELHI: Alappuzha in Kerala is a "waste smart" city according to recent assessment by a Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) team. Reason? It has managed to achieve 100% waste segregation in 12 of the city's 23 wards. It doesn't landfill, instead a majority of the households have biogas plants and composting systems. But as per the Centre's recent Swachch Survekshan survey 2017, Alappuzha ranks at 380.

The top three "cleanest" cities according to the Swachch survey—Indore, Bhopal and Visakhapatnam, have a centralized system of waste management.

While these do have door-to-door waste collection and efficient transportation of waste, CSE points out that all three cities do not segregate waste at source and finally resort to landfilling. Very little waste is processed at source. The best practice in contrast, the world over is to segregate, recycle and process waste at source in a decentralized manner and minimize dumping. In fact, The MSW Rules, 2016 clearly state that waste needs to be segregated into three categories at the household level - wet, dry and domestic hazardous waste. Then, are the cleanest cities as per the Centre's survey really clean?

"What becomes clear is that the states that have pushed for a centralised approach towards waste management - Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh - have been given high rankings in the Survekshan results. Of the top 50 cities, 31 cities are in these three states. All these cities are pushing for cluster-based waste management approach using waste to energy plants and landfills for processing and dumping of waste," says a critique by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). At the heart of the problem is the way Centre evaluates "clean" cities, say experts.

No weightage has been given to waste segregation at source or decentralized management of waste. In fact, 40% of the points go to sweeping, collection and transportation of municipal solid waste, 20% to processing and disposal. No weightage has been given to decentralized waste management, effort to reduce dumping, recycling and reuse. Experts highlighted that there is a major stress on waste to energy plants too as many cities have started adopting it as an easy solution to deal with unsegregated waste.

A senior official at the Swachch Bharat Mission Directorate, told TOI that "most cities were not moving towards decentralized waste management which is why we didn't consider it as a parameter. It's not very well regulated in cities. But now we have decided that segregation and management of waste at source needs to be given weightage. In mega cities, composting or recycling is not an option yet..."

A similar example is of Panjim, which has virtually become "bin-free." It has a colour-coded five category waste segregation system instead.

According to CSE's documentation, waste is collected door-to-door, the generators of waste have to follow a five-way segregation system where they segregate it to wet waste, plastics, papers, cartons, glass and metals and non-recyclable materials. Wet waste is composted at decentralised compost pits in colonies. There are around 70 composting units in the city. Dry waste is brought to sorting centres, where it is sorted, the non-recyclable wastes are compressed into small bales and delivered to cement plants in Karnataka. But Panjim has been ranked at 90, despite its decentralization efforts.

"Now there are NGT guidelines that clearly lay down that there has to be segregation at source, composting, recycling and reuse of whatever is possible. The survey was conducted by a third party, they started the evaluation process before the NGT guidelines came into place and didn't incorporate these. They definitely need to be incorporated," said Shyamala Mani, professor at the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA).
A silly reason. In that case best option is to drop the survey as most of the cities are not clean.
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  #284  
Old Posted May 30, 2017, 9:42 AM
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25 cities receive top rating under govt's programme to upgrade urban amenities

Infrastructure boost: Narendra Modi government empowers municipal corporation to issue bonds
Quote:
The government has allowed as many as 26 municipal corporations to issue bonds to raise funds for developing urban infrastructure under initiatives like Smart Cities Mission and AMRUT.

Banikinkar Pattanayak & Surbhi Prasad

The government has allowed as many as 26 municipal corporations — including those in New Delhi, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Nashik, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Bhopal and Lucknow — to issue bonds to raise funds for developing urban infrastructure under initiatives like Smart Cities Mission and AMRUT, senior government officials told FE. It is for the first time such a large number of local government bodies have been allowed to hit the bond market.

The Union urban development ministry expects municipal bonds of Rs 7,500 crore to be issued in the current fiscal itself, said an official source. Although it’s too early to have a precise estimate of the overall bond size of these 26 corporations, as many of them are yet to initiate the processes, some analysts peg it at around Rs 10,000 crore.

The urban development ministry has proposed to offer the municipal corporations a 2% interest subsidy on the size of bonds after the finance ministry turned down its request to make gains from the municipal bonds tax-free for investors. The urban development ministry has earmarked as much as Rs 400 crore for this purpose, of which at least Rs 60 crore could be provided in the current fiscal, official sources said. The ministry is willing to consider offering higher subsidies than the Rs 400 crore if the corporations issue more bonds than assumed now, said the sources. But the 2% cap will remain.

The subsidy is intended to help the corporations, given that while they can raise funds at 8-8.5% interest through bonds that are without tax-free status, making gains tax-free for investors could enable them to raise money at a lower rate of around 7%. Rejecting the grant of tax-free status to these bonds, the finance ministry argued that any such move could distort the bond market and result in a potential tax revenue loss of Rs 180 crore a year, said the sources.

“We have decided that we will compensate the urban and local bodies (against the lack of tax-free status for bonds). This incentive will be provided from funds under the AMRUT mission,” urban development secretary Rajiv Gauba said. Pune and Ahmedabad will be among the first municipal bodies to issue bonds. The Pune Municipal Corporation has already initiated the process for a bond offering of Rs 2,300 crore, in what could be the country’s largest municipal bond issue and the first one after a gap of around two decades. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation also plans to float bonds of Rs 200 crore. The sources said the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation is also eyeing Rs 1,000 crore through bonds.

Municipal corporations in Surat, Vadodara, Pimpri Chinchwad, Mira Bhayandar, Thane, Vasai-Virar City, GVMC (Visakhapatnam), Vijayawada, Kishangarh, Bhiwadi, Jhunjhunu, Warangal, Indore, Jabalpur and Mangaluru have also been allowed to issue bonds.

The ministry has asked all the corporations to go for credit rating to be able to float bonds. This exercise of getting credit rating on such a large scale hasn’t been undertaken ever. “The municipal bond market was extremely small and the bonds were issued sporadically many years ago in a few cities, including Ahmedabad and Bangalore. And the total bond issues, cumulatively, have been of the order of just Rs 1,600-1,700 crore in all these years,” Gauba said.

The tapping of the bond market by the government was largely used to bridge the Centre’s fiscal deficit while states have been allowed intermittently to issue bonds under the Centre’s overall regulations.

Last month, the Centre allowed state government entities that are financially sound to borrow directly from the country’s bilateral official development assistance partners for implementing critical infrastructure projects. The move came amid realisation that several infrastructure projects being implemented by state government agencies, even if viable and sound, have huge funding requirements and borrowing by state governments for such projects may exhaust their respective borrowing limits.
New lexicon of Indian cities: Venkaiah Naidu

Last edited by BolliBatlu; Jun 8, 2017 at 2:35 PM. Reason: added last link
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  #285  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2017, 2:37 PM
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Indian smart cities can become lighthouses for the world: London School of Economics
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The research also commends India's Smart City Mission for its different approach from the global conception of smart cities.The study, submitted to urban development ministry in May, says, “India's experience navigating this process will have implications and lessons for other rapidly urbanizing regions. In that way, India's smart cities can be `lighthouses' ­ not just for Indian cities but also for cities around the world.“
Smart cities rising but some becoming stupid, say experts
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  #286  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2017, 2:40 PM
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Expanding Heat Resilient Cities Across India
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........

In recent weeks, temperatures have spiked in the lead up to the monsoon across India. People, especially the most vulnerable—children, the elderly and the poor—have suffered in the scorching heat. Deaths have been widely reported this year. And over the past four years more than, over 4,600 people have died from extreme heat, per the Indian government. Climate change is driving temperatures higher and increasing the frequency and severity of heat waves.

Faced with those challenges, cities, states and the national government are taking concrete action to prepare and protect their local communities. For example, drawing on lessons from the ground-breaking Ahmedabad Heat Action Plan, 17 cities and 9 states have adopted, or are developing, heat action plans in India this year.

Also, at the national level, the Indian Meteorological Department has stepped up with expanded forecasts to over 300 cities, and issued an early heat “outlook” in February. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) issued new national guidelines and television advertisements in local languages focused on protecting communities from extreme heat.

The 17 cities that have developed heat action plans are: Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Nagpur, Gondia, Chandrapur, Nanded, Akola, and Jalgaon in Maharashtra, as well as Bhubaneswar, Puri, Koraput, and Baleshwar in Odisha; along with new plans that have been launched or are under development in key cities in 2017, including Vijayawada/Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh, Rajkot and Surat in Gujarat, Hazaribagh in Jharkhand, Rahat in Uttar Pradesh and Hyderabad in Telangana. The nine Indian states that have adopted or are developing state-wide Heat Action Plans in 2017 are: Odisha, Telangana, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Haryana.

Next, this Friday (9th June), NRDC’s India team and partners are leading a workshop for journalists in Ahmedabad, and highlighting a new set of resources that demonstrate what communities and residents can do to protect themselves from the deadly heat.

........
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  #287  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2017, 1:56 PM
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100 Smart Cities: Three from UP, two from Bihar make it to new list of 30 cities
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Under the Smart City Mission, the Centre provides Rs 500 crore to each city over a period of 5 years for implementing various projects.
India TV News Desk, New Delhi Published on:23 Jun 2017, 4:09 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, Naya Raipur in Chhattisgarh and Rajkot in Gujarat figure in the new list of 30 cities announced today for development as smart cities under the Centre's Smart City Mission. The latest announcement takes the number of cities selected for part financing by the Centre under the scheme to 90.

Announcing the new list of smart cities at an event here, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said that 45 cities contested for the 40 available smart city slots but only 30 were selected to ensure their feasibility and workable plans. An investment of Rs 57,393 crore has been proposed under smart city plans.

Other cities that made to the third round of the competition included Amravati in Andhra Pradesh, Patna, Karimnagar in Telangana, Muzaffarpur in Bihar, Puducherry, Gandhinagar, Srinagar, Sagar (Madhya Pradesh), Karnal in Haryana, Satna in Madhya Pradesh, Bengaluru, Shimla, Dehradun, Tirupur, Pimpri Chinchwad (Maharashtra), Bilaspur, Pasighat (Arunachal Pradesh), Jammu, Dahod in Gujarat, Tirunelveli, Thootukkudi, Tiruchirapalli, Jhansi, Aizawl, Allahabad, Aligarh and Gangtok.

Under the Smart City Mission, the Centre provides Rs 500 crore to each city over a period of 5 years for implementing various projects.

A total of 100 cities were supposed to be selected for the Smart Cities Mission. For the remaining 10 spots, 20 cities - Itanagar, Biharsharif, Diu, Silvassa in Dadra and Nager Haveli, Kavaratti in Lakshadweep, Navi Mumbai, Greater Mumbai and Amaravati in Maharashtra, Imphal, Shillong, Dindigul and Erode in Tamil Nadu, Bidhannagar, Durgapur and Haldia in West Bengal, Meerut, Rai Bareilly, Ghaziabad, Sharanpur and Rampur in UP will compete.
Smart city mission: 30 more names announced; Thiruvananthapuram, Naya Raipur, Rajkot top the list
Quote:
Naidu said the 30 cities have proposed a total investment of Rs 57,393 crore, including Rs 46,879 crore for ensuring core infrastructure and Rs 10,514 cr for technology-based solutions.

With this the total investment approved under the smart city plans of 90 cities stands at Rs 1,91,155 crore.
Trivandrum tops Govt's new list of 30 Smart Cities; 20 cities to contest for remaining 10 slots
Puducherry In Centre's 30 Smart City Abhiyan
TEA thanks Naidu for selecting Tirupur for Smart City Mission
Srinagar, Bengaluru Among 30 Cities in Govt's Latest Smart Cities List
Dehradun And Shimla Makes It Into Centre's Smart City List
Karimnagar selected for Smart City Mission
Rajkot makes the cut for Smart Cities Mission of the Central government
Amaravati ranks third in list of Smart Cities
Allahabad, Aligarh, Jhansi get Smart City Mission tag
Patna, Muzaffarpur find way into smart city list
Sagar in Smart City list: Bhargav thanks Naidu
Pasighat, Aizawl in smart cities list
Finally, Pimpri Chinchwad finds a place in big league
3 more Gujarat cities (Rajkot, Gandhinagar and Dahod) make it to Smart City list

Govt launches index to rank 116 cities on quality of life

Last edited by BolliBatlu; Jul 14, 2017 at 4:50 PM.
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  #288  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2017, 2:00 PM
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Smart Cities: After 2 years, only 6.3% of projects under implementation
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Contracts awarded for only 23% of projects under the Atal Mission

Sahil Makkar & Ishan Bakshi | New Delhi July 13, 2017 Last Updated at 01:25 IST

Two years after launch of the ambitious Smart Cities project and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), the National Democratic Alliance government does not have much to showcase yet. Under the Smart Cities project, of the 2,895 projects worth Rs 1.3 lakh crore, only 181 projects (6.3 per cent) valued at Rs 6,413 crore are under implementation. Of the 4,672 projects launched under AMRUT, contracts have been awarded for only 1,075 or 23 per cent till date, reveal data accessed by Business Standard.
Smart City Project Slow on Take Off; Housing Construction Slumps Under Modi Regime

Surat leads in launching Smart City projects
Know Everything About Chandigarh’s Recently Inaugurated Smart City Projects
Ludhiana: Two smart city projects launched sans politicians

India’s first city level Integrated Command and Control Centre to become operational on June 25, says M.Venkaiah Naidu

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik lays foundation stone of 4 smart city projects

Last edited by BolliBatlu; Jul 15, 2017 at 4:18 PM.
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  #289  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2017, 2:25 PM
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31km road stretch to go ‘smart’
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NEW DELHI: The roads under the jurisdiction of the New Delhi Municipal Council will soon be developed as 'smart roads' under the Smart City project of the Union government. NDMC has already started preparations for work on a pilot stretch of 31 km.

The plan was first proposed by Union minister Venkaiah Naidu in January 2017, during which it was also proposed to make Connaught Place a vehicle-free zone. However, the Connaught Place plan didn't take off after objections from the New Delhi Traders Association and lack of preparation on the NDMC's end.

Chairman of NDMC Naresh Kumar said that all roads in its jurisdiction will be developed into smart roads and special features including landscaping, vertical gardens, cycle tracks, street furnitures, plazas/eateries, pelican crossing and 3D zebra crossings will also be added.

"We have developed frames at intersections and will gradually develop them into vertical gardens. It is a new concept and will make NDMC areas greener and brighter," said Kumar.

The project will also see replacement of street lights with LED lights with the smart pole having Wi-Fi facility. The tender has been floated for the same.

"We have appointed the consultant for the project and work has already been initiated for 3D zebra crossing at many roads. The contract for developing modern street furniture has been awarded to SAIL. The work for developing the pelican crossing will be done in consultation with the Delhi Traffic Police," said a senior NDMC official.

The smart roads will also have sensor-based smart parking systems. People can book the slot using NDMC's 311 mobile app at any desired location in advance and pay through e-wallet or net banking.

NDMC has procured 55 smart poles, which will have facilities like Wi-Fi, CCTV camera, environment sensors and LED lighting. "Along with smart poles, these roads will have digital interactive information panels. People can use theses panel for registering any complaints with NDMC and can avail services online. It will take a couple of months to complete the work at the pilot stretch and the same will be replicated across the remaining ones," added the official.

He further said that point-of-delivery kiosks will be installed at all stretches under NDMC, through which people can avail services at doorsteps. These kiosks will also have video conferencing facility with NDMC officials. "It will help NDMC connect with the people. Using this facility, people can directly speak to NDMC officials and apprise them about the issues in their respective area," said the senior official.
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  #291  
Old Posted Sep 22, 2017, 4:09 AM
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Politicians find place in Smart Cities project execution
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Now, each city will have a ‘Smart City Implementation and Review Committee’ comprising the MP, MLAs, leader of the Opposition party in the municipal corporation, the mayor among others. Chaired by the minister for Urban Development and co-chaired by the district in-charge minister, the committees are to take up regular review of the SPV decisions and ensure time-bound implementation, ensure public participation, resolve implementation problems and portray their respective cities as favourable investment destinations.

There was pressure on the UDD to give elected representatives a say in the project, because the onus of planning and implementation is with the SPV, according to Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs guidelines.
Due to pressure from real estate mafia & their political supporters capital cities were included in the smart city list. Let us hope our politicians will not find more ways to spoil smart city project.
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  #292  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2017, 7:32 AM
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Smart India - Design For Recyclability

'Design For Recyclability' concept is similar to 'Design For Testability', 'Design For Maintainability', 'Design For Manufacturability' etc. Though 'Design For Reusability' is also a option but 'use and throw away' model is gaining upper hand due to fast technological innovations leaving no scope for repair or reuse. To achieve 'Swatchh Bharat' goal of 'Zero Waste' and landfill free cities and villages it important to achieve either 100% reusability or 100% recyclability. So, the stress of 'Make in India' and 'Startup India' should be on 'Design For Recyclability'. Also, recyclability of recycled products itself is even important.

Focus should be on FMCG sector as it is the main contributor to waste. For example, if we take 'water bottle' as an example it has three materials - bottle, cap and label. If we can separate each material easily after use then recycling them will be easy. Moving to electronics products which consist of many type of materials this may be a difficult task to achieve and need more effort to design them for recylability.

Eco-friendly, sustainable, biodegradable, biplastic etc may be ways for achieving eco-sustainabilty. But we should have life cycle model (environmental analytics) of them to study whether they produce any harmful pollutant byproducts in any stage of their products or services {1,2,3}.

If Environment Ministry & Niti Ayog can achieve better monitoring and control capability on recyclability by collecting 'Environment Informatation' through proper interfaces with 'Manufacturing Informatics' or 'Innovation Informatics' then planning for eco-friendly recylable products will become easy. There are a few people in India working on Environmental Analytics. But whether India has any dedicated "Institute for Environmental Analytics/Informatics"?

Summary of 'Smart India' bullet points so far
  • Each city is smart city, each village is smart village.
  • Smart Transportation Network connecting smart cities and smart villages - Includes 'Highspeed Multi-mode Transportation Network' connecting cities of economical corridors, Multi-mode Transportation Informatics etc.
  • Resource Planning at all levels of governance - Each ministry will have its own informatics software with interfaces to other ministries and governance levels from the union government to village panchayat. Even private enterprises can be a part of this grand National ERP by providing suitable interfaces to them similar to UPI.
  • Design For Recyclability.
  • Population Distribution - Cost optimized sustainable population distribution.

Last edited by BolliBatlu; Oct 1, 2017 at 10:47 AM. Reason: added last bullet point
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  #293  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2017, 11:23 AM
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How to fund climate-smart cities
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Ajeya Bandyopadhyay

Local bodies need to be equipped in technological and financial terms to deal with climate finance for risk mitigation

According to UN-Habitat’s estimates, over 64 per cent of the world population is expected to reside in cities by 2050. Cities consume enormous resources. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that urban infrastructure accounts for two-third of the global energy use and 70 per cent of energy related Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. By 2025 megacities of 10 million or more people will house more than half the world’s population and contribute more than half of global GDP.

As India’s urban population grows from 410 million in 2014 to 814 million in 2050, with about 7 cities having more than 10 million people, so will there be rise in energy consumption, degradation of forest areas and agricultural land and disturbed ecosystems, problems of water supply and solid waste management.

This will be accentuated by growing risks of climate vulnerability (frequent floods, cyclones, extreme temperature and heat waves) disrupting city lives and affecting the poor who typically lack adequate resources and safeguards to fight such stresses.
Lot to lose

The scale of such damages are enormous; the 2011 Bangkok flood caused damages of $45 billion to the global supply chain of which only 10 billion was insured. Swiss Re, a reinsurer estimated that of the $50 billion or so losses to floods, cyclones and other disasters in Asia in 2014, only 8 per cent were covered (The Economist). This holds out an unprecedented opportunity for cities to lead the world towards a sustainable future by becoming resilient and climate-smart and, ‘leap-frogging’ the inefficient and resource-intensive systems of the past.

Fundamentally, climate-smart transformation needs set of city-specific strategies to systematically reduce city’s carbon footprint and enhance resilience to climate change through smart, affordable and, resilient infrastructure, and mixed form of adaptable land-use. Cities can use ‘predictive models’ to assess the potential risks of climate vulnerabilities (erratic rainfalls, flood, high temperature) and, monetise those risks to account for additional financial and social costs for building safeguards.

On the other hand, each city should have a clearly defined ‘low carbon pathway’, a series of interventions under certain plausible scenarios around integrated solid waste management (ISWM), energy efficient energy/ water supply, harnessing rooftop solar and battery storage, green urban mobility (including electric mobility, public and, non-motorised transport), green and affordable building infrastructure, smart grids, that decouple city’s economic growth from the growth of GHG emissions.

Innovative solutions

Financing climate-smart cities is always a challenge that needs innovative solutions. The ability of cities to finance urban infrastructure largely depends on their budgets, revenue sources and creditworthiness. The perceived lack of creditworthiness (among 500 largest emerging market cities, only 4 per cent are creditworthy) for most cities in India becomes a critical barrier to secure affordable financing on international market or issue bonds to fund climate projects. Credit enhancement facilities such as, Guarantee Fund can help cities to overcome such barrier and raise funds by issuing bonds, etc.

An effective way to catalyse private investment in urban projects is to mobilise credits through local financial institutions (LFIs) who are perhaps better positioned to assess and manage the risks inherent to the local authorities and, mobilise medium and, long-term financing in local currencies, thus eliminating the forex risk.

They typically offer longer tenor lengths that suit climate projects with longer payback period. Projects such as micro-grids, bundled energy efficiency in water pumping, or waste-to-energy, having smaller deal sizes make them a better fit for local financial institutions having smaller investment appetite. However, to maximise the development impact, the LFIs while disbursing credits should ensure appropriate Environment-Social Governance (ESG) safeguards.

To attract investments, cities should develop a pipeline of ‘bankable’ projects that meet broad feasibility parameters. Project preparation is expensive, typically accounts for 5-10 per cent of the project cost, and, most cities lack capacity for conducting feasibility, design and, financial structuring of the projects.

This is where development partners and multilateral banks, equipped with global best-practices, can step in to support cities in setting project selection criteria to favour climate-smart infrastructure, laying right indicators for monitoring sustainability, and building technical and financial capacity of city officials to mainstream climate goals in planning, designing, operations and maintenance of the city. City-focused ‘fund’ becomes useful, on one-side to support project development and, on the other side to mobilise lending for actual project implementation.

Energy, transport and more

Research shows that nearly 70 per cent of climate finance moves towards mitigation projects that largely focus on energy and transport. The higher proportion of finance flowing to mitigation projects may reflect the fact that mitigation projects have more proven and healthier cash flow dynamics.

This calls for innovative instruments and mechanisms to help improve the risk/ return profiles of the climate-resilience projects that often lack financing beyond government’s budgetary endowment. One such instrument is ‘pricing climate externalities’ — by creating a marketplace and trading scheme where some participants find it cheaper to deal with an externality than others. For example, developers building improved storm-water drainage in dense areas would be more willing to pay for ‘credits’ to meet regulatory requirement than developers in less dense areas.

Such a mechanism can ultimately make climate resilient investments, which might not otherwise meet investors’ risk adjusted return, financially more attractive. At a certain level, cities should also consider reforming the principles of municipal budgeting to accurately value and internalise positive and negative climate externalities of every project and allocate and harmonise budgets and savings accordingly so as to mainstream climate considerations in infrastructure planning and operations.

Transformative change is needed in how we build our cities, transport people and goods, and manage our landscapes. The need is urgent; the time-frame for making the choice is critical due to lock-in effect of capital and technology. The challenge is not simply to increase the volume of funding in the pipeline, but also to create an enabling environment to catalyse new finance flow from a broad spectrum of investors — public or private.

Tapping into diverse, well-administered local sources of revenue can decrease reliance of cities on the Centre’s transfers. It is important to prioritise among various options of revenue augmentation that are within the remit of the authority to adjust, while also considering the administration and compliance cost, to ensure that they are both feasible and desirable.

The writer is a partner of KPMG, India. The views are personal
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  #294  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2017, 11:24 AM
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Leveraging data and technology for efficient e-governance
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There is lot of structured and trusted data already available that the government can tap into to make e-governance more insightful, efficient and effective

The current government’s strong intention of creating and promoting a digital state of mind in India is apparent and e-governance has emerged as a key focus area for them in the last few years. It has launched a slew of programs such as mygov, Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM), e-sign framework and Bharat Net under the umbrella of the Digital India initiative, targeted towards pushing the needle on e-governance. The government’s very ambitious smart cities program also has e-governance at its heart.

The centre's vision is to transform India into a digitally-empowered society that will promote transparency, enhance efficiency, check corruption and facilitate better governance and sharper conversation between a state and its people. This will also help it build its own databases and significantly advance its agenda of e-governance. However there is lot of structured and trusted data already available that the government can tap into to make e-governance more insightful, efficient and effective. These is a repository of aggregated content from varied primary and secondary sources compiled as news, expert views, trends and other relevant formats to enhance real-time intelligence gathering to facilitate financial decisions, fraud checks, data screening, analytics and personnel check among other things.

Let us look at ways in which this can help the government enhance its e-governance efforts.

Land and revenue management Effective use of trusted data and technology can help the government automate management of land information and property tax, enable effective valuation, and simplify the revenue management lifecycle for it. This can help them streamline tax collection and maximise revenue generation to support sustainable growth and improve services to the public. As the government looks to execute the Smart City program across India, land management must be a top priority to ensure seamless revenue flow as well as citizen convenience. Blockchain-enabled land management can further help the government achieve enhanced security and transparency.

Addressing red tapism and corruption

While India has moved up on the World Bank ‘Ease of Doing Business’ index and broken into the top 100 nations globally, we still have a long way to go before doing business in India truly becomes 'easy'. Rampant red tapism and corruption are responsible for stalling a lot of important infrastructural projects and an issue that the government has been committed to resolve. Trusted data can be leveraged to address this issue and flag off risks well in time. Connected, open and linked data when analysed as a whole can help run a comprehensive KYS (Know Your Stakeholder) check to identify risky entities. An example is that if the government wants to onboard a vendor for undertaking an important project or accept investments in strategic sectors, it can rely on connected data to check for the entity’s financial crime history, ongoing litigations, political affiliations and connections and reports on past work record to make a well informed and efficient decision.

Law and order management

An efficient and effective legal framework underpins a modern and well-functioning society and is an important part of ensuring good governance. Leveraging data can help expedite legal proceedings and provide access to global best practices and historic data to understand trends and find speedy resolution. Access to trusted legal data can go a long way in keeping the cases moving efficiently through the judiciary system court and avoid huge backlogs.

Infrastructure boost and economic development

Studying and comprehending financial data in real time, including commodities prices, import-export trends, global market movements and currency performance among others can help government make faster and more efficient investment decisions and therefore help in creating greater wealth for supporting infrastructural development and social-economic programs across the country.

Effective use of data can open up huge possibilities for the government to streamline its governance efforts and expedite execution of its projects and programs while making sure that the deliverables are much faster and efficient. With data and analytics driving important business decisions across industry, it is imminent for data to play a bigger role in the sphere of e-Governance as well.

By Sudhir Aggarwal, Head – Government Relations, Thomson Reuters
Smart Cities for All Digital Inclusion Maturity Model launch
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  #295  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2017, 11:25 AM
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IIT team tracks urban heat island effect in 89 cities
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R. Prasad

Chennai, October 27, 2017 00:00 IST
Updated: October 27, 2017 04:55 IST

Researchers push for use of sustainable building materials

Between February and May, most of the 89 Indian cities that are to be developed as Smart Cities have been found to be 1-5 degrees C cooler during the day relative to the surrounding non-urban areas. More than 60% of the total 89 urban areas are 1-5 degrees C cooler during April (it’s 70% in May).

This observation is in variance with the globally witnessed phenomenon of urban areas getting significantly warmer during the day compared with the surrounding areas as a result of urban heat island effect.

In contrast, during the post-monsoon period (October to January), about 80% of the urban areas show typical urban heat island effect and are 1-6 degrees C warmer than the surrounding non-urban areas.

During the night, all the cities studied are warmer (1-5 degrees C) than the surrounding non-urban areas due to urban heat island effect regardless of the season and location.

Compared with other cities, urban areas in semi-arid and arid regions of western India show higher warming in the night.

The night time warming is driven mainly by heat stored in buildings and impervious concrete areas.

Vegetation in focus

A team of researchers led by Prof. Vimal Mishra from the Civil Engineering department at IIT Gandhinagar found that cities are cooler during the day than the surrounding non-urban areas only when the non-urban areas lack vegetation and moisture either due to lack of irrigation or water bodies.

These cities (Kurnool, Vijayawada, Badami, Bijapur, Aurangabad and cities in Gujarat and Rajasthan) are typically located in western and central parts of India.

However, cities (Varanasi, Lucknow, Allahabad, Kanpur, and Patna) in the Gangetic Plain, north-western India (Punjab and Haryana) and southern tip of the west coast show typical urban heat island effect during the day; these cities are 3-5 degrees C warmer than the surrounding non-urban areas during the pre-monsoon (February-May) and post-monsoon (October-January) periods.

The non-urban areas in these areas have vegetation in the form of trees or agriculture and have moisture due to irrigation.

“There are two reasons why urban areas in western and central parts of India become cooler than non-urban areas during summer. The non-urban areas have no crop and moisture, the soil is dry and day-time air temperature is above 40 degrees C. On the other hand, the urban areas have vegetation cover and water bodies. This is why cities are cooler than the surrounding non-urban areas during the day,” explains Prof. Mishra.

More than 70 of the 89 cities studied are surrounded by non-urban areas which have more than 50% of total land cover under agriculture between November and March.

This results in non-urban areas being cooler than the cities during the post-monsoon season. The results were published in the journal Scientific Reports .

Aerosols too have an effect in reducing the temperature but their role in cooling during day time is less compared with vegetation and irrigation.

“Cities being significantly warmer than surrounding non-urban areas during night has policy-related implications,” says Prof. Mishra. “During heat-waves, the prominent night urban heat island effect which is prevalent across cities could worsen the levels of discomfort.”

Planning requirement

“Since the government is planning to develop these as smart cities, we should think of using more sustainable building materials that absorb less heat during the day. We also need to include passive cooling measures such as increased tree cover, increased ventilation in buildings and orientation of buildings in modern building designs to reduce the night-time urban heat island effect,” he says. There should be an optimal combination of impervious cover, vegetation cover, and water bodies within the cities.

The researchers used satellite data (2000-2014) and community land model to identify the impact of irrigation and show the cooling seen in cities is due to lack of vegetation and moisture in non-urban areas relative to cities.

We also need to include passive cooling measures such as increased tree cover
The role of city size and urban form in the surface urban heat island

Wonder whether right kind of population distribution across India can improve microclimate of urban areas.

Last edited by BolliBatlu; Today at 8:20 AM. Reason: added last link
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