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  #143  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2016, 9:07 AM
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Smarter data for smart cities
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Take the example of the Brazilian Federal District Water Utility which brought detailed business visibility and deeper data-driven intelligence to its measurement system, thereby increasing the number of effective connections, while also reducing incidents of fraud. The Utility needed to improve meter management at the individual level. It had a database of information from all customers, including water consumption, bill control, real state records, revenues and demand on the water meter system, and using this they built the profile portfolio of customers and their detailed usage. Each water meter had an average lifetime of five years; if the device was defective or tampered with, the measured consumption read inaccurately low, a result of fraud. ‘Ghost’ bills were studied and suspected fraud was stymied with action to save money. All these data-driven changes hiked business income, leading to 6% revenue growth for the year. Thus, the Utility earned the money for more investments in new meters, resources and equipment, not something easily possible without data analytics.

Similarly, power utilities can improve their financial performance and streamline maintenance costs, extending from where power is generated right up to the meter at a customer’s home or office. Using data spawned by IoT devices, utilities can programme grid efficiency, enhance quality of power, decide on load reduction or directing power better where it’s needed. This, by using real-time, real-world data and analytics.

IoT and monitoring devices can also be used by the police to provide better public security. Real-time processing of data from surveillance cameras, especially in vulnerable areas, can discourage crime and traffic violations.

Complete, validated data

A major issue plaguing Big Data analytics is the lack of complete, validated data. The central premise of a smart city is ‘connectivity’, enabling real-time interaction between various infrastructure departments of the city and with citizens. To provide good facilities, numerous connected sources of information need to be under a shared platform and data from such sources treated concurrently to solve any issues as they arise. Technologically, this is perplexing, as Big Data analytics and applications are not developed enough for real-time dispensation of large data sets. So, instead of targeting many sources, stress must be on sources of material vital to public life. Simply put, select data that is critical for proper functioning.

Technology infrastructure in smart cities is all about Big Data analytics, IoT, and the connecting layer between the physical and digital spheres. It’s time to provide smarter data for smart cities.

Written By: Sunil Jose. The author is MD, Teradata India, the provider of enterprise big data analytics
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  #144  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2016, 9:16 AM
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When nature strikes
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Lessons from across the world show that much can be done to reduce risk, even in complex urban scenarios. To increase resilience, critical infrastructure and services — schools, hospitals, water, electricity, communications systems, transportation, etc — will need to be built or retrofitted to withstand multiple hazards so that they continue to function in an emergency. India’s coastal areas are making a beginning with a number of projects, including the Union government’s National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP), building the resilience of power infrastructure by placing electrical cables underground, among other measures.

Preventing urban flooding will be equally critical. Already, floods are the most frequent of all natural calamities and, with the likely growth in high rainfall events, storm surges, and sea-level rise, urban vulnerability will only increase. Seoul has tackled frequent flooding by combining hydraulic modelling of stormwater drains with the strategic placement of sophisticated pumping stations, allowing flood waters to be pumped out into the sea in times of heavy rain. Buenos Aires, too, has controlled this hazard after two crucial tunnels were constructed in its flood-prone central area. Similarly, it will be important to upgrade waste collection as carelessly handled garbage and construction debris are a major cause of clogged water outlets.

While modern technology can help forecast floods and cyclones, no precise methods exist to predict earthquakes. Enforcing building codes will therefore be imperative, especially in India where almost 60 per cent of the landmass is seismically vulnerable. The risk is particularly high in the Himalayan states where several strong earthquakes have resulted in sizeable loss of life and property. Nonetheless, urban development has proceeded apace and, despite the introduction of building codes in the 1960s, a large percentage of structures fails to meet standards and many are too high for an earthquake-prone region. Today, Istanbul has emerged as one of the most proactive cities in the world in safeguarding against seismic risks. The city has retrofitted more than 700 public buildings and trained more than 4,50,000 people in disaster preparedness. In an interesting innovation, Madagascar has made both builders and approvers liable for the safety of a building.

Other measures will also be important. All towns and cities will benefit by collecting and sharing data on population densities, critical infrastructure, buildings, etc, enabling them to direct urban growth to safer places. The NCRMP, being implemented by the NDMA, is doing just this by developing a digital platform that will help determine vulnerabilities to weather-related events along India’s coastline. This will help define land-use along the 7,500-km coast — three-fourths of which is cyclone-prone — and determine how strong we need to build to save lives.

Should a disaster strike, a swift response can keep casualties low. After the Gujarat earthquake flattened towns and villages, the state established emergency response centres across its territory, equipped them with specialised search and rescue equipment, and outfitted emergency vehicles so that they could navigate narrow city lanes expeditiously. Recently, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Uttarakhand have established their own disaster response forces.

Involving local communities is also critically important. In Odisha, for example, local volunteers have been trained as first responders and equipped to provide first-aid and conduct search and rescue operations, with special evacuation procedures to be followed for the disabled and elderly. In Gujarat, all schools, including rural ones, conduct exhaustive earthquake and fire drills that instil a deeprooted culture of safety and preparedness. Another oft-repeated measure, but nonetheless critical, will be to pare down the multiplicity of urban authorities and align them with disaster-conscious ways of thinking.
Naidu releases guidelines for welfare of elderly, disabled
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  #146  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2016, 4:54 AM
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Sterlite Technologies bags Gandhinagar smart city project
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Sterlite Technologies, founded by Anil Agarwal of Vedanta Group, is among the early companies to have bagged a smart city project. Sterlite, said senior official of the company, has bagged contract from Gandhinagar.

The contract entails creating a Wi-Fi city, with applications like smart parking and lighting.

“We are creating 400-500 access points for Wi-Fi, with applications like smart parking and lighting. The plan is to give 30 minutes of Wi-Fi free. The project amount is around Rs 30-40 crore,” said Anand Agarwal, CEO, Sterlite Technologies.
Kolkata: Wi-Fi cover to make New Town smarter
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  #150  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2016, 8:55 AM
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Public transportation app Trafi unveiled in Bengaluru and Mumbai
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"Trafi's real-time focused approach offers accuracy of information, showing what happens in your city at any time. As this is applied on major transport modes, it will help you with any trip selecting best buses, trains and metro options in clear overview," Martynas Gudonavicius, co-founder and the chief executive of Trafi, said in a statement.

The app will spend $1 million in 2016 to complement the government's smart cities project to provide the right information on public transport in major cities across India.

"By aggregating and showcasing transport modes like buses, suburban trains, bike-share and metro and giving route suggestion based on convenience and speed, Trafi makes it possible for people to shun cars," the company statement.
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  #151  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2016, 9:29 AM
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Five policy initiatives to strengthen India’s digital infrastructure : Ravi Shankar Prasad
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Union Minister for Communication & IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that on the policy front, the government has five key initiatives to make India’s digital infrastructure more strong. These are optical fiber network, virtual mobile network, common service centers, digitally connected postal services and the rural BPO.
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He then mentioned about the five policy initiatives to make India’s digital infrastructure more strong. “The first is, we are connecting 250,000 Gram panchayats of India by Optical Fiber Network. When our Government was formed, the total optical fiber laid was 357 km and optical pipe laid was about 2200 km. In less than two years we have laid 135000 km of optical pipe and 115000 km of optical fiber in the entire country. Once we reach the cluster of Gram panchayat, we are going to have optical WiFi facility to take it to all the villages.”
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“Third is, the Common Service Centers where we have got 157,000 CSC in the country, many of these run by cooperative of women. They are giving digital services, insurance, banking, digital literacy, making passport and other important services. When our Government came it was 83,000, we propose to scale it upto 100,000 more,” he asserted.
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We are going to give hand-held devices to about 130,000 rural post offices – solar powered for eEducation for insurance for postal delivery, third party services etc. Very soon by March next year, we are going to start a payment bank of the postal community. The wide platform of the postal department is so huge that about 60 global and Indian consortium have shown willingness to partner with India Post on a third party services. These are global names like World Bank, Deutsche Bank, City Bank, Templeton, Barclays and many others.”
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  #152  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2016, 9:31 AM
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Road to Smart Cities not smooth: WEF report
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The problems in the business environmentstemmed from these bureaucratic processes, where obtaining licences and approvals takes a long time, and land acquisition is fraught with delays and uncertainties, according to the report. The dispute resolution system also adds to businesses’ costs.

“In most cases, when an urban development project becomes involved in a dispute, activities are stalled, as are vendor payments. With poor cost recovery and high legal costs, companies engaged in disputes find it difficult to sustain their activities.”
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Crucial role

“ULBs (urban local bodies) will play a crucial role in implementing the urban rejuvenation programmes, but they lack the resources to execute the programmes,” according to the ‘Reforms to Accelerate the Development of India’s Smart Cities’ report by the WEF and PwC. “A survey on smart cities highlighted the fact that city governments are the least-prepared to execute the programmes from among all the stakeholders, which include the national government, state governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and academic institutions,” the WEF report added. Apart from poorly organised city administrations, the report also highlights the paucity of funds which urban local bodies are facing.

“The revenue collected by ULBs in India is less than 0.9 per cent of the gross domestic product, significantly less than that of Brazil (7.4 per cent) and South Africa (6 per cent).”

The report also highlights sector-specific problems, such as water management, where around 50 per cent of water production is lost due to theft or leakages during the distribution process, the lack of metering, and low user charges.

Waste treatment is another area with limited private sector interest.

“The majority of cities have not yet unlocked the revenue stream from treated waste water, thereby attracting limited interest from the private sector,” the report said, adding that most of the Indian population anyway defecates in the open.

There are other infrastructural issues plaguing India’s urban centres, such as the unavailability of 100 per cent power, the poor quality of roads, and the paucity of social infrastructure in healthcare, and safety and security.
Smart cities need institutional reforms for pvt participation: WEF-PwC report
Quote:
The report has recommended institutional reforms, business-environment reforms and sector-specific reforms for the project. Under institutional ones, it talks of a unified command structure across multiple planning and administrative bodies within a city, and devolution of power to local government to determine and collect user charges and taxes, to make local bodies financially independent.

For business-environment reforms, it has laid out a road map for formulating public-private partnerships in projects. It elaborates on how cities elsewhere have adopted measures that reduce risk in such partnerships.

Under sector-specific reforms, it has recommended setting up of independent regulators and empowering them where they already exist, among other steps.
Reforms crucial for smart cities: report
Empowering local bodies key to better urbanisation: World Economic Forum
'Much needs to be done to propel India's global standing'

Reforms needed to drive India’s Smart Cities Mission
Smart cities need clear legal & jurisdictional framework for private investment: Eckart Wuerzner, Mayor of Heidelberg
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  #153  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2016, 9:32 AM
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Centre making model building bye-laws, says M Venkaiah Naidu
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Union minister for urban development M Venkaiah Naidu informed that the Centre was in the process of making model building bye-laws by bringing together six ministries of the Union government so that uniformity is arrived at in all the states in this regard. He informed that Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is also trying to bring in uniformity in building bye-laws.
Smart city technology should be simple: Experts
Of Smart cities, Internet of things, IoT and Technology
How technology can help cities to become smart
Smart City Concept too Glitzy for India
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  #154  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2016, 9:33 AM
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‘Share of GDP from towns, cities continue to rise’

PPP needed as funding for Smart City, AMRUT inadequate: Venkaiah Naidu
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“The investment potential in the urban sector in the next 5-6 years is Rs 18 lakh crore, including Rs 1 lakh crore under AMRUT, Rs 2.50 lakh crore under Smart City Mission and Rs 66,000 crore under Swachh Bharat Mission.
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  #156  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2016, 9:37 AM
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Smart City proposal deadline extended by a week

Warangal raring to go for Smart City challenge
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In the Area Based Development segment, the proposal focused on the development of the Bhadrakali Lake Front, Extended Business, Smart Mobility, Green Urbanism and Safety and Security. The total cost of the Smart City proposal is Rs 2,681, of which Rs 1,686 crore is to be funded by the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and Rs 995 crore would be funded through Public, Private Partnership (PPP) project.
Chandigarh: UT revises Smart proposal
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It is estimated that the total cost of the Smart City projects will be Rs 6,200 crore (Rs 250 crore for the pan city solutions and Rs 5,950 crore for area-based development).
Will Lucknow fail to get Smart City tag again?
Lucknow: Response poor, LMC adds a website for inputs
Panaji: Revised smart city proposal to get HPSC nod soon
Kohima: Nagaland CM T R Zeliang seeks people’s cooperation for Smart City project
Kohima to get Rs 1000 cr for Smart City Project
Port Blair: LG reviews progress of Smart City Proposal
Vadodara: VMC to go all out to reach citizens
Imphal Smart City proposal leaves more questions than answers
Making Imphal Smart
Ajmer, Kota at work to realise 'smart' dream
Dehradun: After several deliberations, municipal corporation approves smart city project
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  #158  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2016, 9:43 AM
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Sagarmala plan unveiled, to double port capacity
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The PM said plans to integrate ports with SEZs, smart cities, industrial parks and logistics parks was on the agenda. Shipping minister Nitin Gadkari said, "It has been decided to finish Sagarmala project in five years instead of 10 years to create 10 million jobs. The project will boost exports to $110 billion."
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  #159  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2016, 5:46 AM
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Jaipur: Global touch for smart cities
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Jaipur: Gearing up for the Union government's smart city project, the Jaipur Smart Mission Limited (JSML) and Udaipur Smart City Ltd (USCL) are all set to appoint project management consultancy (PMC) from across the globe.

The consultants will help the civic body plan design, develop and monitor smart city projects in Jaipur and Udaipur.
Bhubaneswar: Pollution cloud on smart city
Pune: 15 smart city projects to start in three months

Bhopal to get Rs 22,000 crore 'smart booster
Bhopal: Shivaji Nagar residents to be rehabilitated on priority
Bhopal: Tree count for smart city rollout

Whether Smart City Project is for increasing open space and green cover or the otherway? One more similar example is below.

Jalandhar: Society to approach ministry against smart city proposal


Pune to have a smart city solutions centre
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The government of India and government of Maharashtra along with the Future City Catapult, a network established by the Government of UK, are planning to come up with a national centre for excellence for urban innovation in Pune. The centre will cater to all the issues of upcoming smart cities in India.
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  #160  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2016, 5:51 AM
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Chandigarh, Faridabad and Dharamsala submit revised ‘Smart City’ plan
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The remaining cities that have submitted revised plans under the Fast Track Competition are Warangal in Telangana; Lucknow; New Town, Kolkata; Goa; Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh; Raipur, Chattisgarh; Bhagalpur in Bihar, Shillong; Namchi in Sikkim; Port Blair; Diu; Oulgaret in Puducherry; Silvassa; Imphal; Ranchi, Agartala; Kohima; Kavaratti in Lakshadweep; and Dehradun, said an official of the Urban Development Ministry.
All 23 cities submit Smart City Plans under Fast Track Competition
Warangal re-enters Smart City tag race
Doonites have their say in smart city plan
Agra: Citizen engagement for round 2 Smart City Project begins from March 15
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