Dholera’s advanced ICT technology to offer Digital Integration for holistic smart city experience
Authored by Jaiprakash Shivahare, IAS, Managing Director, Dholera Industrial City Development Ltd
The design for the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) element of India’s first and biggest Greenfield Smart city Dholera has been completed. IT major Wipro were engaged for ICT design and consultancy work which included state-of-the-art design work for City Integrated Operations Centre, E-Governance, City applications (including analytics), Data Centre, City-wide network and City dashboards. The design for ICT facilities was carried after benchmarking studies of world class cities like Singapore and London.
With a strong ICT infrastructure, Dholera is slated to become India’s first and only integrated Smart City, which will be operational by 2020. As per plans, Dholera will be managed from an integrated control and command centre. The centre will integrate, monitor and control the underground road utilities, water management systems, lighting on the streets and field sensors. As an integral part of the smart city concept, ICT system in Dholera will provide for smooth integration of various urban systems and their operational processes along with citizen engagement. Some significant ICT solutions include energy management systems, traffic control systems, urban data platforms, mobile applications, etc.
The Dholera smart city is a societal ecosystem with many complex integrated layers. The totality of this ecosystem provides the context for the enabling ICT. When something happens in one part of the ecosystem it effects other parts, for example: the city monitors weather primarily for citizen information and environmental warnings, but when significant rainfall is predicted or detected this can also inform the transport network to lower speed limits.
In specifying the ICT requirement for a Smart City, an understanding of the dynamics of citizens, systems, technology, infrastructure, environments and future ways of living has been considered. The fundamental starting point for this is the citizen (of Dholera) and their user journey in the new Smart City, with ‘ease-of-use’ as the key driver. Understanding global city procedures, processes and ways of working was considered in designing and implementing the ICT for Dholera.
Dholera Industrial City will host many technologies and solutions with an integrated platform and command control centre which will include all city applications like e-Governance, e-land management system, Building permission system, Safety and Security. etc.
There will be primary focus on using futuristic technologies like Big Data, Analytics, IoT, Block chain and Artificial Intelligence (AI) with real time monitoring and controlling. The smart city network in Dholera will typically use ICT to create a two-way communication network between the citizens and government. ICT aids the government in analyzing the demand pattern of the citizens and in turn create a pool of resources to address as many of them online as possible. The electronic medium of communication helps in creating a collective intelligence which can be deployed for resource optimization with the help of analytics and deep learning.
A robust ICT network like in Dholera is the cornerstone of any smart city. ICT plays a seminal role in enabling smart cities to reduce their carbon footprint and make them a better place to live. It helps in making a better use of energy in buildings, transport and smart services for citizens. Dholera has been envisaged as a city that will incorporate all these ICT-enabled features, amalgamating infrastructure and technology, creating a clean and energy efficient place with easy access to services and digitization of information.
As ICT becomes fundamental to local governance, it will help in reducing the distance between the policymaking, its implementation, and the citizens. Dholera’s ICT is aimed at improving the quality of citizens’ life, creating employment, and enhancing the income of various social groups, leading to more inclusive zones.
The ICT requirements for Smart Dholera have been split into various work packages. Some of the components being covered are shown in the diagram below.