29 May 2020

Table of Contents for Project Focus

Interview- Sanjay Sethi (MMRDA)

Smart BKC 1.0 will be the base line for future smart cities

Maharashtra’s apex Planning and Policy making Regional body MMRDA has envisioned transformation of Bandra-Kurla Complex as a Smart Financial District by harnessing the role of ICT. Sanjay Sethi, Additional Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA offered CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES the firstpeek into the ambitious project


MMRDA has undertaken the mission of transforming the business hub of BandraKurla Complex in Mumbai as the country’s first Smart Business District.  Tell us about the objectives of the project and what it expects to deliver? 

Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority aims to achieve Digital Mumbai Metropolitan Region Vision with BandraKurla Complex as the Smart City Pilot Project. It focuses on service provision to its citizens through a robust public and private sector collaboration model that embeds technology to integrate multiple infrastructure services for transparent and efficient operation.  Its goals are to create a Citizen friendlyCentral Business District that is intelligent, efficient, transparent, inclusive, interactive and accessible in real time to all citizens. With the said objective we aim to achieve outcomes like:

  • Strong ICT backbone for BKC
  • Automated services making resources available for other value added tasks
  • Seamless experience for Citizens in real time
  • Efficient, Safe, Secured, Public Services
  • Optimized Energy Consumption and Recycling



Give us a sense of the key components and physical contours of the Smart BKC project?

The objective is to create BandraKurla Complex as an ‘SmartHub’. MMRDA has identified five initiatives based on stakeholder analysis, best practice survey and opportunity assessment. The five initiatives identified are – Municipal Wifi, Smart Parking, Solar powered Streetlights with Smart Grid, Video Analytics and Citizen Apps


Please tell us about the mode of project implementation?  

The project is currently under the EOI (Expression of Interest) stage. Although, the mode of implementation is still to be finalised, MMRDA envisages to take up one of the models as follows:

  • Bundle all the key five initiatives and invite one Master System Integrator through a consortium:
  • Invite individual vendors for each initiative

In either case MMRDA has a choice of PPP mode, BOT mode following a Capex model or a hybrid model for executing one or more initiatives. MMRDA may follow combination of one or mode modes depending on the evaluation of Global EOI responses received.


What kind of a connectivity and transport linkages and gains can we expect as part of this project?

MMRDA has announced five initiatives to make BKC as a Smart Hub. MMRDA has carried out pre-feasibility consultancy study before embarking on the project. The impact of each initiatives will be as follows

  • Municipal Wifi-  High Speed Wireless Connectivity for all stakeholders in BKC
  • Smart Parking with Mobile Apps– Parking Identification Time to be reduced from 20 minutes to 5 minutes, resulting in fuel savings of approximately 19,000 litres annually. The initiative is also expected to reduce carbon emissions by 24 tonnes and 7800 manpower per day
  • Smart Streetlight –Smart Streetlights equipped with solar panels, Time and Motion Sensor, with auto ON/OFF and Smart Grid features would enabled annual reduction of carbon emissions by 800 tonnes and energy consumption by approximately 40 per cent.
  • Video Analytics &Surveillance Cameras - The project involves installation of Surveillancecameras enabled with Video Analyticscovering the entire E and G block of BKC.This initiative can considerably bring down the street furniture theft, Security issues and result in improved emergency response. The Security perception in the area will improve significantly especially for Consulates, Diplomats in the area.
  • Citizen App – Effective citizen communication technologies will be installed to ensure ease in the access of information services like SOS, Value Added Services for Commercial/ Media Use and other Citizen Services. This will bring in MMRDA services in one smart portal with seamless availability with real time, equitable and inclusive in nature.

Since BKC has representation of major Corporates, Consulates, Banks and PSUs, this initiative would facilitate effective, inclusive, efficient, and equitable& Citizen friendly Public Services.


What is the current status of the project – post Expression of Interest? Tell us of the feedback received? 

We have received encouraging responses of about 23 global and national Technology companies.Being the first brownfield Smart City Project in the country, MMRDA and the governmentenvisages to make it a role model for the country.


Could you name the agencies and service providers that will help in its delivery?

MMRDA is the initiator of this project. The implementing partners are yet to be finalised as the project is currently at the EOI stage. MMRDA has also focused on utilising and implementing the latest technology. The project will also ensure the ROI achievable, ultimately synergy between bidders and best services to citizens.


Are you looking at international collaboration/joint ventures in the implementation of the project?

We have already received EOI responses from Global Companies and envisages to implement various global best practices.


Please share with us details of the financial cost, funding agencies, and timelines for project implementation?

The project is currently under the EOI stage where the project cost is estimated to be around `30-40 crore. Presently, MMRDA is evaluating commercial funding model like Capex, OPEX, BOOT/ PPP models. We expect the Phase-I of the project to be implemented by end of 2015


Does the project derive inspiration from any known models of Smart business districts from around the world?

MMRDA Smart BKC vision is based on the benchmarking of various smart cities across the globe. The Smart city journey for BKC has been defined across three Stages i.e.

  • Smart BKC 1.0- Reactive Smart Infrastructure and technologies
  • Smart BKC 2.0- Proactive Maturing technologies
  • Smart BKC 3.0- Smart and High Performing Futuristic technologies

This would help BKC to be at par with Global Smart Cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelono, London, Copenhagen, Singapore, Songdo, etc.



Please elaborate on the smart/high tech elements that will be incorporated in the business district project?

BKC will experience a high speed wireless connectivity, Covering 175 Hectares in E&G Block. Smart BKC 1.0 will offer citizens ease to connect anywhere and everywhere in the E&G Block of MMRDA through Municipal Wifi as well as provide dedicated bandwidth for Internet of Things. The citizens will be enabled with 3000 new slots of automated parking with effective Mobile parking apps and Public information system. This would enable Hassle free parking , ease of parking slot identification and booking.In addition, with latest technologies, the two blocks will be empowered with 841 smart Solar powered street lightspowered with time and motion sensor. The energy saved would be passed on to the Smart Grid  contributing to the vision of BKC as an Energy Neutral Zone. BKC will also be equipped with 90 Surveillancecameras which will be connected to a Central Command Centerfor a real time 24*7 analysis using advanced Video Analytics for improved security and surveillance.


What is your assessment of the economic spinoffs and benefits likely to accrue from the project both to Mumbai and the country?

While the urban population is currently around 31 per cent of the total population, it contributes over 60 per cent of India’s GDP. It is projected that urban India will contribute nearly 75 per cent of the national GDP over the next 15 years. Hence, such cities are prominently being referred to as the ‘Engines of Economic Growth’, as they function as efficient engines which are critical to the economic development. As per the global experience, a country’s pace of urbanisation is relatively slow till it reaches 30 per cent and is expected to speed up, till it reaches about 60-65 per cent. With an urban population of 31 per cent, India is at a point of transition where the pace of urbanisation will speed up. Hence, we need to plan our urban areas effectively. The relatively low base allows us to plan our urbanisation strategy in the right direction by utilising advantage of latest technical developments.


What are the challenges you foresee in the implementation of this project and what is your plan of action to skirt those?

Dedicated, uninterrupted Bandwidth for a secured ecosystem for Internet of Things is the challenge. MMRDA would adopt best practices from global smart cities to ensure a Safe a Secured IT ecosystem.



In your view what kind of a differentiator will the BKC Smart District project be for the India Growth Story?  

BKC is getting ready to cater to the biggest web users of the globe. The new development will enhance sustainability, Security and ease for citizens. We expect the project to become the base line for the upcoming smart cities in the country.

Leave a Comment

Email Address
(will not be published)