What are your views on Government's approach towards the Smart City Mission and your role/contributions towards the same?
Smart city concept was the dream project of India Government to develop all grades of city Hi- Tech, improve the old and degenerating buildings and plan the unplanned infrastructure. With the idea to improve the infrastructure and integrate IT in each component at city level, the Government also has plans to develop the society and educate them towards the benefits of Smart component in Infrastructure. We believe beauty and brains is the best combination and thus, we as a PMC, not only gives the best of the design and technical operational solutions for the smart and infrastructure component but also beautifies the city enhancing and preserving the story, soul and character of the city.
As a project manager of three most critical cities Ajmer, Bhubaneshwar and Chandigarh, I realized that though the projects under the smart city are more or less the same, but the vision and our approach of integrating the city individuality and the advance technology is a far cry from and that’s what Egis India do.
Please share with us brief about your involvement in Smart City project(s)?
We as a Project Management Consultancy firm for the Smart city projects provides all kinds of solutions to the Smart city client such as checking the feasibility of the proposed projects, getting the geospatial and geotechnical data, analysing the usability of the infrastructure and the actual requirement of the people of the city, maintaining the city scape (prominently in Chandigarh and Ajmer), designing according to user- usability, preparing the detailed project report and consecutively the tender document for the construction purpose, designing the financial model of the project, strategically finalizing the mode of construction with the client, selecting the right contractor in the basis of their experience and qualifications- basically the papers submitted and supervising as well as technically assisting the contractor during the whole construction phase- basically an end to end technical and financial solution to our client.
What are the challenges faced in the process & strategies to tackle the same?
Well, I believe payments are one of the most common challenges that we face in all our projects, and with Covid and the consequent situation, it is more prevalent. Apart from it, as a firm we believe that to achieve and really make a city advance and smart, the people in the city needs more awareness, change their conventional way of thinking, our city bye-laws needs to be more practical and firm and any consultant should make aware of the various technologies and way out of any solution which is not mentioned in our scope of work. The incorporation of various new softwares and technologies such as GIS or SCADA though takes time to be designed or incorporated and we need experienced and high tech professionals but in long run, these are the smart sustainable solutions and will determine the quality of the city we live in.
What are the key factors or determinants defining a Smart City?
According to me, the key factors or determinants defining a Smart City are economy, human resource, governance, traffic system, environment and social development, culture and city skyline, technology and innovation, sustainability, crime or disaster prevention and various policies for safeguarding people’s life and investments.
What are the tools/technologies/developmental approaches contributed from your end?
Egis India has done not only domestic projects but has been the extended team to our International Group which has done many prominent world level projects. Not only our approach is pro-active but the software tools and our approach to the projects where in various technology solutions needs to be provided are better and up to the International Standards. We have the experience and expertise consultancy of resources who have been associated with us for many years and have the experience of working in Smart projects of Europe, Africa, UAE, Australia, etc.
What are the future prospects and your mission towards exploring opportunities from the Mission Smart City?
Smart city is an entrepreneurial city. There is a bidirectional relationship between entrepreneurship and smart cities. First, entrepreneurs initiate technological interventions that help cities undergo socio-technical transitions and become smart cities. Second, the technologies being adopted in cities generate data which then helps enterprises to explore new opportunities. We are far behind the stage where all the cities are self- sustainable, producing zero carbon waste, automated services and no manual dependency are the initial factors to be achieved in totality We still need to fully manage the complexity of urban living, and problems ranging from pollution, overcrowding and urban sprawl to inadequate housing, high unemployment, resource management, environmental protection, and rising crime rates.
Some of the long standing urban challenges include housing, especially for low-income populations, infrastructure provision, and the delivery of a variety of services including water, sanitation, education and health which is the prime agenda of determining the city as SMART.
There are enormous of aspects and variants to achieve the Mission of Smart city. ICT development is the core but the smartness of the city does not end there until unless the above factors are been taken care of. The self-sustenance of the city and the betterment of living quality of each one is after all is our agenda and we are on the right track.