21 November 2018

Interaction-Rajendra Jagtap, CEO, Pune Smart City Development Corporation Ltd

Our aim is to solve core infrastructure issues


With numerous projects lined up, Pune is all set to be a smart city. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, RAJENDRA JAGTAP, CEO, PUNE SMART CITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION LTD discusses their Smart initiatives, and the progress made so far.



Your assessment of Pune’s Smart City initiatives, how do you evaluate the progress so far. What are the major challenges?


Pune aspires to become India’s most livable city by using its strengths—rich heritage, strong human capital and vibrant business environment. It aims to solve core infrastructure issues in a “future-proof” way and make its neighborhoods beautiful, clean, green and livable. This vision was developed based on the largest citizen engagement initiative in an Indian city and detailed city profiling. Problems such as massive traffic congestion, unequal distribution of water, scarcity of affordable housing, and inadequate opportunities for developing human capital impede the realization of this vision for Pune. Based on this vision, the city’s Municipal Corporation participated in the Smart Cities Challenge in India and was ranked 2nd of the top 20 cities. Under the Smart City Mission, Pune will receive priority funding of Rs. 1000 cr. to alleviate these issues.


A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) - Pune Smart City Development Corporation (PSCDCL)-has been incorporated to drive project execution and ensuring a consistent funding pipeline by convergence of Smart City projects with other government initiatives. An ecosystem of partners comprising of government and non-government organizations, academia, experts and private sector has been developed to drive the smart cities mission.


Within a short span of time, PSCDCL has undertaken impactful projects like Street redesign, Placemaking, Public Bicycle Sharing (PBS), Road Asset Management System (RAMS), Smart Elements and Integrated Command and Control Centre, WIFI, Solar, Integrated Transport Management System (ITMS), CCTV, Street lighting, Lighthouse, Digital Literacy Center and Digital Experience Center among few others.




Challenges faced before deployment/implementation.


Over the years, an exponential rise in the number of private vehicles and lack of public transportation options have led to massive traffic congestion across the city, with vehicles only managing an average speed of 18 kilometers per hour. The average number of buses per lakh population is only 37, compared with the global benchmark of 55. Unequal water distribution is another major challenge. With several problems like these, Pune needs a holistic program to meet the growing needs of the city. Being a new entity, PSCDCL had to establish itself in the market as a reputed entity which is focused on delivery.



Challenges faced during implementation of key projects include:


Engagement with stakeholders: PMC, Police, Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited – stakeholder management was key to implementation of projects since it took time to understand their vision and plans, gain trust and then collaborate in structuring of projects


Street redesign: citizens were against experimenting with global best practices like bigger footpaths – they wanted bigger roads for more cars which would have caused more pollution.


Vandalism of bicycles: Public Bicycle sharing service faced immense challenges when vandalism was disrupting deployment of bicycles and in operations of the service.


Vandalism of field sensors on smart elements: Vandalism on the field sensors required active engagement for dealing with the situation and slowing down implementation.


Opposition from local groups against smart city concept: Various local groups were opposed to the concept and vision of smart city concept. An active engagement process was required to change perception of these citizens


Complex projects requiring coordination with multiple agencies: Most of the projects had a number of interconnected components and need to multi stakeholder coordination with other agencies involved in city governance.


Talent sourcing: This was a challenge when it came to hiring talent from the market place in a short duration of time while working in a fast-paced environment.




The European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC) has signed an MOU with Pune Smart City Development Corporation (PSCDCL) so as to develop Pune Smart City project. Can you share some details about the same?


European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC) is a program initiated and constituted by European Union and managed by EUROCHAMBERS, the association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry with a company incorporated in India. EBTC is a not for profit platform promoting and in digitizing European technologies and solutions to the local requirements in India through various programs. EBTC endeavors to support the government and private sector involved in the Smart Cities program in India with in-depth information and knowledge of available technologies, solutions and frameworks from Europe by way of broad access to the innovation and legacy created in this field in European countries. PSCDCL has mandated EBTC as the ‘knowledge and technical cooperation partner for the Pune Smart city projects.’


PSCDCL believes that EBTC has significant strengths in the areas identified below that could be complimentary to each other and hence would like to explore a mutually beneficial collaborative relationship with regards to connecting European Smart City solutions for the Pune Smart City projects.




The recent initiatives include Smart city lighting, fixing hard infrastructures etc. How have they progressed so far? How will they bring change in making Pune smart?


Effective lighting in streets and public areas is an essential service for citizens, ensuring road safety, personal safety, urban ambience and the prevention of crime. Well-lit streets also boost economic opportunities by extending the hours of commercial activity beyond sunset. Pune city undertook a large project of replacing over 77,800 streetlights through a first of its kind, public-private partnership project in India in a record time. Around 38 per cent of the corporation’s energy consumption is on account of street lighting. Through this milestone project the city has realized savings of over 50 per cent of its energy consumption. The project was completed across the city in record time between November 2016 and March 2018.


The savings from electricity consumption will be used to compensate for the capital cost of the street lights as well as for set up of centralized command and control centre connected with a feeder network to manage street lights remotely over a period of 12 years. Higher illumination standards have been maintained on the streets when compared to earlier sodium vapour lighting.


This project is being implemented by Tata Projects in collaboration with Phillips in a PPP mode without any capex investment or additional operational expenses by Pune city. The savings from the electricity consumption, around Rs 18 crore per year, will be used to compensate for the capital cost of the street lights as well as implementing a centralised command and control centre connected with a feeder network to manage street lights remotely over a period of 12 years.

Providing street and public lighting is one of the most expensive responsibilities of a municipality. New energy-efficient technologies and design can cut these costs dramatically, by up to 60 percent, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the same amount. The savings can be redeployed to help deliver electricity to additional areas, such as low-income or other underserved neighborhoods.


In addition, the PMC was facing several challenges with the existing system—the feeder had a mixed load, the bill period durations varied, and bill costs were high, and a lot of energy was wasted during the nights.


Existing street light mostly consist of High-intensity discharge (HID) lamp technologies utilizing high-pressure sodium vapor (HPS or HPSV). HPSV or HPS lamps have a long useful life, but produce a yellowish light with poor color-rendering properties, and have an unappealing long restrike and warm-up period. Metal Halide lamps are also being used which even are less efficient that existing HPSC and HPS lights.


The Smart Street lighting project has had a huge impact on the city’s power consumption and costs. With 77,800 streetlights converted to energy-saving LED streetlights, the PMC has saved the energy equivalent of 2000 tons of coal per year and cut its power usage by 50 percent. The project has saved 2626874 units of power per month. This has led to significant savings on the MSEB bills, amounting to around Rs. 1.5 crore a month or Rs. 18 crore a year.


The entire operations and maintenance of the streetlights has become far simpler: Lights are switched off and on as required, using inputs from the programmed sunrise/sunset times to ensure that no electricity is wasted. The SCADA system ensures that streetlights are centrally monitored around the clock. LED lights require lower maintenance, reducing maintenance costs and the number of service vehicle trips to the light installation.


The Centralized Fault Detection System ensures that any faults are rapidly repaired. Citizens, too, can report malfunctioning lights via a mobile app or a toll-free number. The integration of ambient light sensors with smart streetlights is underway, simplifying the process of auto switching off lights when not needed. The savings brought about by the Smart Street lighting project could be redeployed by the city for other important needs, such as extending street lighting coverage to underserved or lower-income neighborhoods. This will be a powerful and inclusive shift over time, creating an equitable distribution and access to basic amenities for all citizens to enjoy.




As waste management is a crucial topic for any city, what are the measures undertaken in terms of Waste Management for Pune.


The vision for city waste management is a clean Pune through citizen engagement for efficient solid waste management.


Key initiatives taken by PSCDCL in Aundh Baner Balewadi area are:


Zero Waste: PSCDCL to promote decentralized processing of waste in ABB area. The chief drivers of this mechanism are Door to Door collection and information, education & communication. The IEC approach attempts to change or reinforce a set of behavior among citizens regarding waste and cleanliness.


Focus area: Segregation: The initiative is to increase levels of segregation at source for both the residential and commercial purpose, target being 90 per cent segregated waste collection


Decentralized waste management: The vision is to reduce waste routing from ABB areas to landfill site. Eventually, only inert waste would go to the landfill. All other types of waste are to be converted in-situ, at centralized composting unit or sent to specialized scientific disposal centers.


Extend support to the informal sector: The initiative envisages extended support to Swachh in the door-to-door-collection of residential waste in the ABB area. The idea is also to formalize next level of the waste management sector by including scrap hawkers and dealers


Awareness: IEC activities to increase citizen awareness for solid waste segregation and in-situ composting


No Visible Waste: PSCDCL to reduce visible waste on streets in ABB


The chief drivers of this mechanism are mechanized cleaning of roads, litter bins & collection, and container bin & fleet.


Mechanical Road Sweeper: The mechanical road sweeper covers a sweeping width of 2.2 meters, coverage per day of 40 km length, 1-2 times a week as frequency of cleaning depending on waste history. Any type of waste, including silt is cleaned by this phenomenon. Walk-along litter suction machine: The walk along litter suction machine has a sweeping width of 3 meters, 8 km length of coverage per day, a daily frequency of cleaning only dry waste.


Increasing number of litter bins placed at strategic locations: To promote waste segregation at source and on the go, an infrastructure of waste disposal has to be provided to the waste generators. Thus, litter bins placed at strategic locations help in reducing visible waste on streets.


Improving efficiency – PSCDCL to improve efficiency of assets – vehicles and human resources through technology interventions, vehicle and asset tracking system and citizen connect. The SWM monitoring system tracks all types of waste streams from a centralized monitoring system. The dashboard provides information regarding all indicators. Since the advent of 2018, using various indicators, ward-wise budget allocation will be linked to performance of the prabhags.




Pune is known to be a city of two wheelers and for the traffic woes. What are the steps been taken to resolve the traffic and transportation problems in the city?


Pune has taken a multi-pronged approach to mitigate its urban mobility challenge – the most chronic problem as per its citizens. Initiatives across three pillars of Infrastructure, Technology and Policies are aimed to address multiple mobility challenges. There are policy initiatives are proposed to support Pune’s commitment to resolve congestion challenge - Comprehensive mobility plan, Urban street design guidelines, Parking policy, Pedestrian policy, Bicycle plan, Transit oriented development and Integrated multimodal transport management plan.


With regards to infrastructure, our pilot street redesign of 0.5 kms was well received. Around 25kms of greenfield roads and existing streets is being redesigned to transform and strengthen the road & street network in Aundh-Baner-Balewadi area. PSCDCL’s mobility projects are also aligned into city funded projects such as MRTS Corridors, Ring roads, BRT networks, Integrated flyovers, and a Metro system.


The addition of electric buses and e-rickshaws will help Pune to overcome the shortfall of public transport options for trunk, feeder and shuttle routes. Pune city has already launched the dockless public bicycle share program wherein four vendors have signed up to provide 100,000 bicycles over the next one year. PSCDCL is committed to make Aundh-Baner-Balewadi area bicycle friendly through a number of joint initiatives with local stakeholders and private sector investors.


One of the marque projects under PPP is the Transit hub in Balewadi. This TOD will include a metro station, bus bays for local and inter-city buses, high grade retail and commercial office space. This project will reduce the number of buses plying through the ABB area and help moving people on the newly built metro system.


On the technology front, PSCDCL has launched two projects to improve mobility experience. The Road Asset Management System (RAMS) utilizes an advanced vehicle to survey and automatically update data into a usable GIS based decision tool details of all road assets, its materials and condition. The Intelligent Traffic Management System assists the Public bus transport operator of Pune (PMPML) to effectively monitor and optimize in real-time on various KPIs affecting its operations.


The Adaptive Traffic Management System (ATMS) aims to reduce traffic congestion by managing traffic signals based on real-time traffic demand and improve speed of vehicular traffic within the city. The implementation of intelligent Red-Light Violation Detection (RLVD) system and Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system will automate and improve traffic compliance.




List the projects that have been awarded so far.


Recently, we have completed projects such as Public Bicycle Share, Bus System ITMS, Lighthouse, Place making PSCDCL & PMC sites, Place making & Open spaces - Murkute Garden and Street lighting across the city. Similarly, the road work in places such as Baner& Aundh have also been completed.


In addition to this, projects such as affordable housing, BRT, Consultancy service, Intelligent Road Management (RAMS), construction of Digital Learning School, Maternity Hospital, laying of Optical fiber cable, Water 24x7 Reservoirs, Smart Meters and pipeline have been awarded.


Tenders have been floated for projects such as the second phase of ITMS, electrical buses, Road widening and street redesign of Mahadji Shinde Road & Baner University Road and Smart Pole.


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