The Centre’s Smart City Mission means big business for companies in the housing, energy and transport segments. We shortlist likely winners
“The future of India lies in its villages,” said Mahatma Gandhi. Self-reliant villages formed a sound basis for just, equitable and non-violent order, he believed. Decades later, his ardent follower Narendra Modi thinks otherwise. He is pinning hopes on building a better India through ‘smarter’ urban cities.
About 25-30 people are expected to migrate every minute from the rural areas to the cities in search of better livelihood and lifestyles. By 2050, about 843 million people are expected to reside in the urban areas — accounting for about 50 per cent of the overall population.
The Smart City Mission of the Centre is part of the overall game plan to accommodate the massive urbanisation that is expected in the future — by modernising the existing mid-sized cities.
What is a smart city?
‘Smart City’ is a relatively new concept. While there is no specific way to define it, the most popular is from Frost and Sullivan. The research and consulting company defines Smart Cities as those built on smart and intelligent solutions and technology that lead to at least five of the following smart objectives — smart energy, smart building, smart mobility, smart healthcare, smart infrastructure, smart technology, smart governance, smart education and smart citizen.
Smart energy, for instance, could be introduced using digital technology for optimal management of demand-supply situations or theft detection. Smart building, in turn, controls aspects such as lighting and temperature in an energy-efficient way through automated infrastructure.
As recently as in 2011, there were no smart cities in the world. However, there will be 26 of them by 2026, according to Frost and Sullivan estimates. Beijing, Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney and Amsterdam will be among them, while there will be none from India. Yes, you read it right, none.
Indian cities have got a long way to go before they qualify as ‘Smart Cities’; may be another 15-20 years. The Indian government’s Smart City Mission (SCM), which is essentially a five-year game plan, is actually just one baby step towards forming Smart Cities in the real sense.
However, the good news is that the SCM is already gathering steam. Round 3 of the “competition”, as it is called — which recently invited proposals from various cities – will soon short-list 40 more cities,taking the overall tally to 100 cities.
The Centre proposes to develop 100 smart cities over the next five years with overall budgetary plan of about ₹1,00,000 crore. It will be investing ₹100 crore every year for the next five years in each of the short-listed 100 cities.
Additionally, it will spend nearly ₹50,000 crore under the AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) scheme over the next five years.
Its investments — which are just the tip of the iceberg — will be routed through special purpose vehicles (SPV), floated in each of these cities. On an average, it currently holds about 20 per cent in such SPVs, for the 60 short-listed cities.
Another 80 per cent of funding will come from the State government, PPP (Public Private Partnership), existing Central or State schemes, loans and other sources. In all, about ₹5,00,000 crore of project investments is expected from SCM, according to Jones Lang Lasalle — opening a door of big opportunity for the private sector.
Most of the projects, about 85 per cent, are area-centred projects. They focus on local area issues instead of implementing it throughout the city. As per the Ministry of Urban Development, ₹1,30,000 crore worth of projects have been awarded and are invarious stages of implementation.
A cursory look at the project plans of 60 cities shows that the plan content varies drastically with the needs of cities. For instance, in Ahmedabad, it’s largely about township development, while NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Corporation) fixes the niggling power issues. While Pune focusses on transport, Raipur looks toward developing local market.
Moreover, while some are greenfield projects, others are retrofits. However, there is some method in the madness. Basic amenities such as housing, water, electricity, transport as well as infrastructure remain the major focus. For the sake of analysis, we will classify projects into housing, transport, energy, technology & infrastructure and water & waste management.
For the benefit of investors, we have looked at the nature of SCM projects in major cities and identified listed entities that could benefit from it.
Housing is the biggest opportunity emanating from SCM. For cities of Surat, Ahmedabad, Thane, Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur and Bhubaneshwar, it is the single largest project. However, the nature of projects differs. While in places like Surat, the focus is on affordable housing, in Indore, it is about slum redevelopment.
The relatively better-off cities of Ahmedabad and Thane focus more on township development to accommodate more people into the city. In Chandigarh, it’s a mixed bag with about ₹4,000 crore going towards property development — residential, office, retail and hospitality.
With 40 more cities expected to get qualified for Smart City funding, the opportunity for residential housing is huge. Moreover, improved urbanisation will result in more people moving into the city, triggering demand for more houses.
Moreover, the ‘satellite towns’ around these Smart Cities will be a good opportunity to develop affordable housing. With the recent Budget doling out ‘infrastructure status’ to affordable housing projects, many real estate players are jumping on the bandwagon.
Godrej Properties is our preferred choice in this segment. It has pan-India presence and has developed properties in many of the Smart Cities, including Ahmedabad, Kalyan-Dombivali and Thane.
Moreover, it is looking at affordable housing projects, which could benefit from SCM initiatives. Not the least, with a reputed brand name and good execution skills, it has the capability to bag key SCM projects.
Many of the cities have taken up energy-based projects in a big way to address power shortages. NDMC is looking at spending about ₹1,500 crore in building smart grid for efficient energy management. It is also investing into alternate energy by building 40-MW solar power plants at a cost of ₹430 crore.
Belagavi (erstwhile Belgaum) is also betting big on alternative energy. It is investing about ₹200 crore each into solar rooftop panelling and wind power generation to generate power of 30 MW each.
It also plans to lay underground cables worth ₹300 crore and install smart meters to ensure two-way communication between the meter and the central system — for efficient monitoring and billing. About 131 million smart meters are to be installed across the country by 2021, according to Government estimates.
Many of the cities, including Raipur, are installing SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), which will gather data in real time from remote locations to enable central control of equipment and monitoring of conditions. Relatively better-off Chennai is looking at cutting power costs by installing street light monitoring system (worth ₹250 crore) across the city.
Siemens and Honeywell Automation are our recommended bets in the energy space. Siemens is a global player in building smart cities over the last 10 years, with New York and Vienna being prime examples. It has already floated a consortium with global technology vendors to bid for Smart City projects in India. Moreover, it is business as usual for the company. Under the R-APDRP (Restructured-Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme) of the Government of India, Siemens has been installing Smart Grid solutions in several cities in India for many years now.
Honeywell Automation, which globally earns half of its revenue from energy-efficient products and related activities, is another player that is expected to benefit from SCM projects relating to energy. Opportunities in energy are diverse — from service and asset management, software development and installation of equipment. These two players, with diverse experience, are better poised to bag the opportunity.
Transport is another big focus area for many cities, including Pune, Raipur, Thane and Great Warangal. SCM projects relating to transport broadly address issues of high travel demand, last-mile connectivity, traffic management and transit. Investments into development of back-bone infrastructure and transport systems are also common.
Pune is looking at faster transit by investing ₹210 crore into BRT (Bus Rapid Transit), while another ₹500 crore goes towards developing back-bone infrastructure. It is investing heavily towards roads and road widening as well as into buying of 100 electric buses.
Thane, on the other hand, is looking at launching a new railway station, improving road junctions as well as providing multi-modal facilities at various junctions in the city. Great Warangal, in turn, is looking at redevelopment of state bus stands and multi-level parking.
Also, to reduce the carbon footprint, many cities are introducing electric rickshaws (e-rickshaws). As against the regular autorickshaws that run on CNG or petrol, e-rickshaws will be powered by batteries charged from solar power.
Also, the focus is to manage high travel demand by promoting non-motorised transport (NMT) by making footpaths and spaces for riding bicycles. Coimbatore, for instance, is investing ₹50 crore in the bicycle sharing system. Chennai and Bhubaneshwar are investing heavily into intelligent traffic management system. This will monitor and regulate traffic on a real-time basis using video surveillance and incidence management and simulations.
Some of the offbeat beneficiaries of this could be the bicycle manufacturers. In Singapore, already, people cycle their way to nearby railway stations and neighbourhood centres, which is the way forward for aspiring Smart Cities. Players such as Atlas Cycles and Tube Investments are well-entrenched in the bicycle market.
Water and Waste management
Smart waste management could be classified as that relating to waste handling, its sorting and segregation, transportation and its disposal. Sensor-based collection, for instance, helps identify the status of bins and optimise pick-up routes and schedules. Automated waste collection systems, in turn, reduce the need for manpower.
Indian cities going the smart way are focussing either on waste handling or its intelligent transportation. Lucknow, for instance, is spending about ₹300 crore towards sewerage lines while Bhagalpur invests another ₹120 crore towards building an underground sewerage system. Many others are going for RFID tagging of waste collection vehicles while cities such as Kanpur are spending a little bit on building public toilets.
In the case of water, SCM project opportunities could be from building water sources, its storage and purification, distribution and its discharge & treatment. Smart water metersinstalled at the consumer level will help detect usage levels and price it according to the extent of usage. A ghost pipe detection systemwill detect theft.
NDMC is spending about ₹200 crore towards water and waste-water management, while Kanpur is investing ₹70 crore towards water metering and strengthening of its existing water supply network.
Many of the smart cities are also building infrastructure to manage storm water, rain water harvesting as well as lake rejuvenation. Thane, for instance, is spending ₹240 crore towards lake and waterfront development, while Faridabad is spending ₹45 towards revitalising its Badkhal lake.
Thermax, which provides water and waste-water treatment plants including recycling, is expected to be a major beneficiary from the above mentioned projects. VA Tech Wabag, a market leader in water treatment solutions in industrial water, desalination as well as waste and drinking water, is another of our favourites.
Technology and Infrastructure
ICT (information and communications technology) plays a critical role in the building of Smart cities. According to Nasscom estimates, anywhere from 10 to 15 per cent of the total project investments or about $30-40 billion is the opportunity for software companies over the next five years.
For instance, in the case of citizen services, technology plays an integral role by providing access to online citizen engagement and participatory process. Provision of Wi-Fi services at public places and online service delivery are other ways. Moreover, ICT plays a key role in improving city governance by building city command and operations centres. Many of the cities have lined up huge investments in this space.
Since software development is crucial for remotely controlling water and power systems, NIIT Technologies is our favourite in this space with its specialities in digital analytics and infrastructure management services. It recently launched ‘geodesign’ , a Geographic Information System framework for planning smart cities in India. For more details on NIIT Technologies, see ‘Firm Calls’ page.
Jabalpur and many other cities are looking at significant investment in optic-fibre cable. Electricity companies also extensively use optical fibre cables for monitoring and control purposes. Sterlite Technologies, which has a 40 per cent market share in the domestic optic fibre/cable space, is expected to benefit from such projects.
Infrastructure is another big opportunity that involves diverse activities — road and flyover building, development of city centre, lake development, river bridges and so on.
NBCC, the only public sector Infrastructure player, is expected to be a major beneficiary, eyeing 15-20 of the 100 smart city projects in the country. Over the next five years, it is expected to increase its order book levels to ₹1,00,000 crore (it is ₹70,000 crore today), growing its revenues at the rate of 25-30 per cent annually. Moreover, players like Siemens and Larsen & Toubro too are expected to benefit from a range of infrastructure-based projects.
What is it?
Smart energy : Using digital technology to reduce power losses, optimally manage demand-supply and improve asset utilisation.
Smart mobility (Transport) : Multimodal fare integration, predective analytics for efficient traffic management and NMT adoption to reduce carbon footprint.
Smart building (Housing) : Green an energy efficient buildingswith advanced automated infrastructure to control and manage aspects such as lightining and temperature.
Smart technology : Connecting homes and offices on a single wireless IT platform including adoption of high-speed broadband and smart grids.
Smart infrastructure : (Water and Waste Management) Automated systems (RFID) to plan routes for garbage picking and measure air quality. Sensors to detect water leakages and smart meters to monitor usage and water quality.
Category : Smart City
There are two types of curves provided primarily for the comfort and ease of the motorists in the road namely:
Horizontal curves are provided to change the direction or alignment of a road. Horizontal Curve are circular curves or circular arcs. The sharpness of a curve increases as the radius is decrease which makes it risky and dangerous. The main design criterion of a horizontal curve is the provision of an adequate safe stopping sight distance.
Types of Horizontal Curve:
Simple Curve: A simple arc provided in the road to impose a curve between the two straight lines.
Compound Curve: Combination of two simple curves combined together to curve in the same direction.
Reverse Curve: Combination of two simple curves combined together to curve in the same direction.
Transition or Spiral Curve: A curve that has a varying radius. Its provided with a simple curve and between the simple curves in a compound curve. While turning a vehicle is exposed to two forces. The first force which attracts the vehicle towards the ground is gravity. The second is centripetal force, which is an external force required to keep the vehicle on a curved path. At any velocity, the centripetal force would be greater for a tighter turn (smaller radius) than a broader one (larger radius). Thus, the vehicle would have to make a very wide circle in order to negotiate a turn. This issue is encountered when providing horizontal curves by designing roads that are tilted at a slight angle thus providing ease and comfort to the driver while turning. This phenomenon is defined as super elevation, which is the amount of rise seen on a given cross-section of a turning road, it is otherwise known as slope.
Vertical curves are provided to change the slope in the road and may or may not. be symmetrical. They are parabolic and not circular like horizontal curves. Identifying the proper grade and the safe passing sight distance is the main design criterion of the vertical curve, iln crest vertical curve the length should be enough to provide safe stopping sight distance and in sag vertical curve the length is important as it influences the factors such as headlight sight distance, rider comfort and drainage requirements.
Types of Vertical Curve:
Sag Curve : Sag Curves are those which change the alignment of the road from uphill to downhill,
Crest Curve/Summit Curve : Crest Curves are those which change the alignment of the road from downhill to uphill. In designing crest vertical curves it is important that the grades be not] too high which makes it difficult for the motorists to travel upon it.
RFI = request for information
CRFI = contractor request for inspection
MIR = material inspection request
IFC = issue for construction
EI = engineer instruction
SD = shop drawing
ASBD = as built drawing
JSI = job site instruction
ITP = inspection test plan
PAC = provisional acceptance certificate
FAC = final acceptance certificate
ITL = Independent Testing Laboratory
CPI = cost performance index
SI = SITE INSTRUCTIONS
TQ = TECHNICAL QUREY
LPO = local purchase order
ITP = inspection test plan
TPI = Third party inspection
LOI = letter of intent
C.O = confirmation order
MAS = Material approval submittal
L/C = letter of credit
CDC = current date cheque
PDC = post dated cheque
IP = Inspection Plan
TSR = Test Sample Request
WR = Work Request
MIV = Material Issue Voucher
SMR = site material requisition
FIN = Field Inspection Notice
ITP = Inspection and Test Plans
P & ID = Piping and instrumentation diagram
NCR = non conformance report.
RFI = Request for information.
CL = Check list or IR = Inspection request.
MDN = material delivery note.
JSI = Job site instructions.
SR = Safety report.
Tr = Transmittal.
TCS = technical comparison sheet.
CCS = Cost comparison sheet
QA/QC = Quality Assurance Quality Control
QS = Quantity surveyor
BOQ = Bill Of Quantity
LOI = Letter Of Intent
PQP = Project quality plan
ITP = Inspection test plan
HSEP = Health safety and environment plan
JV = Join venture
PB = Performance bond
TB = Tender bond
CAR = Contractor all risk
RFMA = Request for material approval
RFQ = Request for quotation
RFV = Request for variation
VO = Variation order
SF = Submittal form
TQ = Technical query
DSR = Daily site report
MOM = Minutes of meeting
SWI = Site work instructions
PMI = Project manager instructions
RAS = Request for alternatives or substitution
MDC = Material deliveries checklist
RFI = Request for inspection
NCR = Non conformance report
SVN = Safety Violation notice
KOLKATA: India's ageing thermal power plants could mean good times for companies in the dismantling business.
About half of the country's thermal power plants—which collectively account for almost 30% of total installed capacity—are over 25 years old, and a large number of them are fast approaching 40, which is considered the end of their useful life span. Beyond this they will necessarily need to be scrapped, opening up a market for effective disposal of these plants.
"In fact, 188 thermal power plants out of a total 396 are more than 25 years old. They have a total installed capacity of about 56 GW, out of a total installed capacity of 188 GW. A large number of these plants would be scrapped," said Ashok Khurana, director general of the Association of Power Producers.
According to experts, generation capabilities of a thermal power plant reduce by about 40% after surpassing the operational age of 25 years. Requirement of coal also keeps increasing, thereby calling for de-rating of such plants.
"All these 25-year-old plants were built with technology that took care of pollution norms prevalent at that time. However, norms have turned stricter and these old plants need to spend more on adhering to norms. If they undertake renovation and modernization, tariffs also increase, as the additional costs need to be passed on," the executive said.
The need for shuttering old plants has opened up a large market for decommissioning and effective disposal, similar to the ship-breaking industry. Companies like mjunction and MSTC have stepped in to grab a chunk of this market.
"The service requires onsite inspection, inventorying, segregation and estimation. All of which culminate into an online sale to qualified and credible buyers which fetches the optimum price for the power plant," an executive of mjunction said.
Vinaya Varma, mjunction's CEO, said, "Our focus is on transparency and price discovery of such assets, which are not only economically unviable but also a hazard for the environment."
An executive from a power plant said, "Considering that we need working capital to expand our operations, it is imperative that we sell our defunct units and scrap at a competitive price in the shortest possible time."
Getting rid of the plant includes segregation of scrap, assets that can be refurbished, unused assets and hazardous items. It also involves inventorying the assets and sorting them by type and use. The inspection and estimation process is followed by devising selling strategies. Recently, mjunction offered valuation and estimation service to a power utility company to sell its 4x120 MW decommissioned thermal power plant by recognizing the value of the plant and assets.
Category: Disposal Assets
‘Turbines in Koppal, Chitradurga and Bagalkot have played havoc on habitats’
Spinning turbines atop rocky hills in Karnataka, which have become symbols of the State’s pitch for “greener sources” of electricity, may have come at a price to forests and its denizens.
A little over 6,870 acres of forest land has made way for wind farms and associated infrastructure, including transmission lines and roads in Karnataka, shows Forest Clearance data obtained from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoeF). The demand continues as the last two years has seen proposals – in various stages of approval – for further diversion of 1,612 acres of forest land for windmills.
Much of these are set up in the hill ranges of Kappatagudda, which is embroiled in a controversy regarding its conservation tag, in Gadag district and Jogimatti of Chitradurga district. And, it is here that the Karnataka Forest Department has commissioned a study, for the first time, to report on the year-long comprehensive study on the impact of wind turbines.
“There are reports of bird deaths and other effects on avian fauna abroad owing to the windmills. We wanted to specifically study the impact here, particularly considering that Chitradurga is saturated with windmills,” said Anur Reddy, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Forest Clearance).
The 18-month study, conducted by researchers from Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History in Coimbatore, is expected to be completed by year-end.
H.N. Kumara, senior scientist who is heading the study, said: “Windmills come up in wind funnels (where winds have high speeds), which are also used by migratory birds as a cruising path. Similarly, the noise and vibrations may affect larger mammals, leading to conflict. Even if no impact is found, the study will clear up doubts and give clarity.”
However, activists believe the effects of windmills are plain to see. Indrajit Ghorpade, who runs Deccan Conservation Foundation that focusses on conservation in scrub forests, says turbines in the hillocks of Koppal, Chitradurga and Bagalkot have played “havoc” on habitats of many species. “These mills have seen population of spotted deer, hyenas, chinkaras, blackbucks, and wolves decline owing to habitat loss. Now, we don’t see wolves close to windmills,” he said.
Wind power generating firms under the scanner
With forest fires keeping officials on their toes, a wary eye has been kept on transmission lines that criss-cross Kappatagudda hills.
Forest officials allege that one of the four cases of forest fire recorded in the past week is linked to sparks emitting from a transmission line in the the area. They have filed a case under Section 24 C(I) of the Karnataka Forest Act against a major wind power generating firms, while instructing firms to take safety precautions.
There are 240 windmills operating from the forest area in the Kappatagudda forest range, maintained by three different companies. Chief Conservator of Forests Krishna Udapudi said directions had been issued to the representatives of the three companies about building fire lines in their areas of operation. “We have also asked them to create a clean zone of 10-metre width on either side of the power transmission lines so that there is no burning material in the area that may cause the fire to spread,” he said.
Erecting barricades around the transformers, maintaining vigil over vehicles were some of the other directions issued.
Twirling trouble in forests
* Forest lands diverted since 1993 : 6,870.5 acres.
* Lands pending for approval : 1,612.4 acres.
* Total commissioned capacity (forest and non-forest land) : 3,241.44 MW.
Areas with commissioned Wind Projects
* Gadag (including Kappatagudda and surrounding areas) : 278 projects.
* Chitradurga (Jogimatti and surrounding areas) : 274.
* Davanagere : 69.
* Total in Karnataka : 893.
Sector: RENEWABLE ENERGY
The recent tenders for setting up and operating solar and wind power generation farms show that the price of renewable power is now approaching that from greenfield coal-based power plants in India. It will not take too long for solar photovoltaics to become the cheapest source of power.
But solar power is generated only during the day , that too intermittently. Similarly , wind power is generated during certain months and the power output also varies. If energy storage was inexpensive, one could have dealt with this intermittency by storing excess energy generated to be used when needed. Since grid-connected energy storage continues to be very expensive, generated power needs to be consumed instantly.
As the consumer demand for power also varies with time-of-day and season, there is a problem of matching demand to supply , both of which vary independently . One option would be to have excess capacity and get the non-renewable power generators, which are under our control, to back off when needed.However, this strategy has to be adopted judiciously , as it will increase the cost of non-renewable power.
Demand management, where the customer is incentivised to use more power when available and consume less when there is a shortage, will help and will, indeed, become necessary . Smart buildings and factories will take us towards implementation of demand management in time.
But what would really enable renewable power to become an unfettered dominant supplier is some kind of large scale storage. The electric vehicle (EV) is precisely such an application, where the cost of energy per km, including the cost of its storage, has to be only lower than the corresponding cost of a petroleum-based vehicle, to be economically viable.
EVs use distributed storage. Growth of renewable energy in India, thus, has an EV compulsion, as it requires EVs to grow in the country and provide the first large-scale storage that the growth in renewables needs. In energy terms, if all vehicles in India were electric today , they would use up 15-20% of India's electricity generated.
If their batteries are charged intelligently , EVs could help overcome the intermittent nature of renewable-power generation. But are EVs in themselves economically viable in India today?
The EV needs batteries to store energy needed for its operation. As battery prices fall steadily and the efficiency of motors grows to deliver higher mileage per unit of energy , there is a crossover point when EVs with sufficient range per battery charge become a more cost effective option than diesel, petrol or CNG based-vehicles. Left to itself, it may take three to five years for prices to fall enough in international markets for EVs configured for use abroad to emerge as a better alternative for consumers in India.
This, however, implies that India would be importing EV subsystems from the start, and it will be difficult to establish any kind of technology leadership. We may later see local manufacturing of at least some of the subsystems. Nevertheless, there is the real possibility that the value of imports of EVs and EV subsystems will match the oil import bill today and leave us no better off than today .
But there is another option towards large-scale EV adoption. The key elements of EV technology are available today at the right prices for several types of vehicles widely used in the Indian market. With an innovative, coordinated and market-oriented effort by industry and the government, certain EVs can be produced in India today .Adoption can be rolled out rapidly in a fully market-driven manner.
In these specific segments, India could attain a globally competitive leadership position in three to five years. This effort will simultaneously encourage local intellectual property (IP) generation and the manufacture of most EV subsystems or substantial parts of them.India can move towards substitution of oil imports with locally produced energy and EVs including subsystems.
Apart from these intrinsic benefits of early adoption of EVs, it forces the simultaneous growth of renewable energy production in India. This slew of reasons should drive us to single-mindedly pursue immediate efforts in a mission mode to enable early adoption of EVs in India.
A laissez-faire attitude will negatively impact the indigenous manufacturing of India's future automobiles and subsystems as well as India's import bill.It will also slow down the integration of renewable energy sources into the grid at scale.
INTELLIGENT SYSTEM Automated signal lights to gauge traffic volume & change colours
Whitefield, KR Puram and Mahadevapura will be the first areas to see the début of the ambitious Intelligence Traffic Signal System in the city. As many as 25 traffic signals in these localities -which are part of the IT corridor -will turn smart in the next three months.
A key component of B-TRAC phase II, the system will have automated traffic lights which gauge the amount of traffic and change from red, amber and green. The system manages vehicular flow through actuation by using cameras that can capture vehicle presence and modify the signal countdown time depending on real-time vehicle movement.
The city traffic police have floated tenders to install the system at 25 signals to begin with out of the 353 signal lights in the city. The system will be synchronised to countdown timers. If a signal is timed to remain green for 50 seconds and there is not much traffic flow after 30 seconds, the loop shifts to another signal in the junction.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) R Hitendra said that the police had to weigh options to avoid wastage of green time at signal lights: one, by manually observing vehicle movement; second, by installing sensors beside the roads; and lastly, installing sensors to cameras at signals.
The work of installing sensors to traffic cameras has already begun in the East division. Traffic signals in the city being very close to one another, vehicle actuation will be done area-wise. The Central Business District (CBD) area, for example, is to be treated as a separate entity because it has its own traffic ecosystem. Each area will have signals coordinated at the area-level.
The state-run Bharat Electronics (BEL) has piloted actuation at four junctions -MS Ramaiah Hospital, ISRO, Devasandra and BEL junctions. BEL had, however, used sensors on roadside, a technology that is now deemed outdated.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (traffic and planning) R I Kasim Raja said that sensors on the roadside -like the BEL pilot project would not work in our conditions as it could be damaged or removed during road work.
Transport expert Pawan Mulukutla said that while technology is an excellent idea, it would only be a management tool and will not do away with congestion.Besides, since signals would not be managed manually, the signal stops will not be unduly long, he added.
The question is whether the system will be switched off when VIP motorcades are on the move.
Category: Urban Traffic
Recognizing excellence in conserving energy efficiency in commercial buildings:
Engineering tomorrow’s India: Today, India is on the cusp of an urban revolution. Indian cities currently contribute to over two thirds of the national GDP and a majority of job opportunities. Urban population has doubled from 222 million in the 1990’s, to an estimated 410 million in 2014 and is expected to touch 800 million by 2050. According to a study by MGI, by 2030, the economies of India’s top five cities will be comparable to middle income countries of today. 70% of buildings required to sustain this development in the country, are yet to be built.
Indian policy makers need to effectively manage this growth, such that it creates the basis for sustainable economic performance. Given the paucity in energy supply to fuel aggressive development, it is crucial for energy efficiency to be at the heart of any strategy, to guarantee secure, sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
Today, energy efficiency is increasingly important and can be supported by setting appropriate prices, especially with rising energy prices. In addition to energy conservation, technological options for improving energy efficiency in the industry, power generation and commercial buildings are needed.
Air Conditioning in Commercial buildings consume the highest energy: Globally it is estimated that 17% of electricity consumption is from HVAC-R industry and energy efficient technologies available that can be utilized to significantly reduce consumption. Heating and Air conditioning takes a major share of electricity bills for commercial and industrial applications, which puts tremendous pressure on energy sources and ultimately impacts the climate.
Energy efficiency is an imperative, but it is the most invisible component of the energy system. To meet the growing energy demand across sectors and to expand residential access to electricity, India is implementing different market based instruments that seek to scale up energy efficiency. The technology needed to leverage the multiple benefits of energy efficiency already exists.
The energy intensity levels for India are consistently improving, which is a good indication, but a lot more needs to be done if we need to meet the UN SDG target for 2030. The uptake of these technologies need to be fast tracked and necessary measures for the same need to be taken, by both policy makers and the stakeholders involved.
Leading by Example: This prestigious award recognizes Infosys EC 53 building, Bangalore as inductee for ACrex Hall of Fame 2017. Infosys reaffirmed its commitment to develop and maintain green infrastructure through their sustainable practices and to be a benchmark that can be globally emulated by stakeholders. What makes the Acrex hall of fame stand apart is that it recognized the contribution of every stakeholder involved in the project like the developer Sobha Limited, the HVAC consultant. ARCO consultants, HVAC contractors from KNND associates and the OEM and green efficiency partner for Infosys from Uponor, for making the sustainable journey possible.
Equipping the efficient HVAC Systems:
* Variable speed drives.
* All equipment chillers, pumps, cooling towers, air system had variable speed drives to minimize energy consumption.
* Dual loop units for server room.
* DX + chilled water – 8 deg C and 16 deg C for high efficiency.
* Magnetic oil free chillers.
* Noise free operations and longer life.
* Automatic tube cleaning system.
* STP recycled water for cooling tower make up.
* Chiller plant efficiency 0.42 kw/TR.
We are happy that Infosys is inducted to ACREX hall of fame and serves as a testament to the increasing focus on energy efficiency and sustainability. With a performance based, data driven methodology, we are trying to approach energy efficiency and sustainability from a more holistic view and it is our belief that the scope for energy efficiency in buildings is immense and the key to energy efficiency is proper management - Guruprakash Sastry, Regional manager infrastructure, Infosys.
Urban efficiency is consistently receiving a higher prominence in today’s India as major cities realize how important it is to maintain air and water quality. Necessitated by an aggressive economic growth characterized by increasing industrial output and commercial activity, achieving urban efficiency is a green card to a cleaner decarbonized economy. The awareness about energy efficient technologies is improving, commercial buildings in India are setting global benchmarks for how green infrastructure can be conceptualized, designed and implemented. Buildings such as the Mumbai International Airport and Infosys need to be recognized and showcased to enable stakeholders in the sector to learn from their best practices. It is with this idea of identifying projects from which we can all learn and imbibe that Danfoss India associated with ISHARE to bring you the prestigious ACREX hall of fame. - Ravichandran Purushothaman, President, Danfoss India.
Affordable housing to gain momentum, says Credai chief
The country’s real estate sector is passing through a phase of consolidation post the demonetisation, the Union Budget and changes in the regulatory environment, according to Gitamber Anand, National President of real estate body Credai.
In an exclusive interaction with BusinessLine , the Credai President said: “The sector, which had faced a number of headwinds in the past, is seeking to shrug off legacy issues and going on to become a more organised segment.”
“As realty braces up to the new GST regime, the focus is on consolidation. The organised real estate segment is seeking to address huge demand for housing in the seven major metros and tier II-III3 cities, together seen to have a demand for about 60 million houses,” he explained.
Fair business approach
The housing shortfall is likely to be there for the next 5-10 years. Both commercial and retail segments too, will see increased offtake as the economy is projected to sustain its current growth momentum. The housing sector faces the legacy of a perception that it has a huge component of cash transaction. With a member base of over 12,000, Credai is seeking to address this by fair pricing, transparency and is being aided by purchase of property by raising loans, he said.
“This fair business approach will play a major role in attracting investments too, into the sector,” he felt.
Post note ban, from January, things are getting back to normalcy and February has been good.
“We believe the sector will grow steadily over the next 12-18 months. The prices too, have stabilised and in some segments have also retracted by about 15-20 per cent,” he explained.
The issue of trust deficit is being pro-actively addressed and buyers are getting to gain from the new norms, drop in home loan rates and encouragement from the government, all translating to lower overall costs in the long run, he said. “The year 2017 will see a slow run up in terms of increase in sales. There is not much land left in good locations in major cities. This means, when things get better, and demand goes up, prices will spiral up,” he said.
The affordable housing segment, whose definition has changed over the years to cover housing up to Rs. 65 lakh, would be a major focus area for most developers and become a demand driver for high volume and lower margin business.
Major job creator
Referring to GST, he said, “We hope to be placed under the lower slab. The real estate and construction sector, which employs over five crore people, is the second largest job creator after agriculture.
“The growth of this sector will play a big role in the growth of the country’s economy and help create jobs.”
Most of the Paper wasted is high-grade variety.
Using old paper to make new paper consumes 30 to 50 percent less energy than making paper from trees.
Pollution is reduced by 95% when used-paper is made into new sheets.
40 per cent of all waste going into landfills is paper. Cutting down on paper waste will extend the lives of landfills.
Newspaper can be recycled into egg cartons, game boards, new newsprint, gift boxes, insulation and packaging material.
Office paper can be recycled into paper towels, tissue paper and toilet paper.
Corrugated cardboard can be remade into new cardboard and cereal boxes.
Coffee cups, candy wrappers, tissues, paper towles and carbon paper cannot be recycled.
As renewable energy prices drop and investors show more than curiosity, conventional sources may take a hit, says M Ramesh.
Never have two sit-up-and-take-notice events happened in rapid succession as in the Indian renewable energy sector in the February of 2017.
Solar prices at Rs 3.29 (averaged over 25 years) and wind at ?3.46 a kWhr have been events of such signal importance that they practically eclipsed another development in the sector—that of the government allocating a whopping Rs 8,100 crore to foster solar parks.
That these prices were discovered through auctions whose terms contained favourable conditions doesn’t diminish the moral of the story – low prices of renewable energy are here to stay.
Remarkably, tariffs have fallen despite a few uncertainties—risks that would have been priced and woven into the bids. One is the uncertainty over the GST rate. D V Giri, Secretary General, Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association, says that “if GST is pegged at 12 per cent, the project cost would go up by anywhere between Rs 15-25 lakh—that is roughly 7-12 paise in the tariff. Further, there is no clarity on whether or not the ten-year tax holiday would be extended. Any favourable move by the government on these, combined with lower interest rates, will only soften renewable energy prices further. Renewable energy has had two problems – high cost of energy and intermittency. Now, half the battle has been won.
Against the other enemy – intermittency, or the on-off nature of generation – three sallies are in evidence, the first of which is likely to happen this month. It is a development no less epochal than the falling energy prices—the award of contract for the country’s first Renewable Energy Management Centre (REMC). There are four in the race –and please note their stature—Siemens, ABB, Alstom and OSI, an American company. One of them will bag the job for setting up the first REMC for southern India (essentially, SCADA system designed to predict wind and solar power generation, which will eventually help balance the supply with demand.) The government-owned transmission utility, PGCIL, has come up with a tender for the next REMC for the western region.
Managing and forecasting Soon, India will have a string of REMCs. Coupled with this is forecasting of both generation and demand. Vishal Pandya, founder and Director, REConnect Energy, a consultancy which is doing forecasting for 4,400 MW of wind energy in Gujarat, observes that India is “getting prepared for clean energy revolution” by putting in place a robust forecasting system.
He points out that the government has been helpful. If a generator or a consumer deviates from the forecast, the penalties for that is to be absorbed by either the Power System Development Fund or the National Clean Energy Fund. “This significantly reduces investment risks for investors,” says Pandya. The infrastructure for managing fickleness of supply is the first attack on intermittency.
The second is storage. If you can store energy, you can regulate its supply. Storage is still a baby in India, as elsewhere. But the infant will grow. An estimate of Bloomberg New Energy Finance has it that 800 MW of storage could get built in India by 2020 – apart from the 10 GW of pumped storage planned for the next five years. A 2016 study of the Indian Energy Storage Association says that by 2022, India will have 70 GW/200 MWhr of storage. Last week, Bloomberg ran a story titled ‘The age of the giant battery is almost upon us’, noting that battery prices have fallen 40 per cent since 2014.
The third wave of attack—still on the horizon—is ocean energy, which is clean but gives 24x7 output, and can replace the supplement hydro and gas in providing grid-balancing supply. If clean energy is available cheaper and its supply is smooth, who would want conventional energy, particularly dirty coal? The rise in growth of generation from renewable energy began well before the dramatic fall in prices. In April-December 2016, electricity production from renewable sources grew 26.28 per cent, over the same period of 2015, while the growth in conventional energy production grew 17.89 per cent.
A month earlier, the contrast was starker, with RE generation growing at 28 per cent, against conventional power’s 5 per cent. Today, renewable energy – whose capacity, incidentally crossed the 50 GW-mark in January – accounts for 7 per cent of energy produced. This is set to increase rapidly with roll out of more wind and solar plants. Five years back, it used to be 3 per cent.
The first victim to the rise of renewable energy is coal. Investment in new coal power plants faces challenges of swelling capital costs, coal availability, price risk and long execution period, notes Salil Garg of India Ratings and Research, a consultancy. “Many recent investments have not been remunerative for investors as well as developers,” he says, observing that investor interest has shifted towards solar and wind. “With the emergence of renewables as an alternative source of electricity, further investments into coal-based power plants are uncertain,” says Garg.
Figures of Central Electricity Authority show near-100 per cent demand satisfaction. Energy deficit in January was 0.6 per cent; 99.5 per cent of peak demand was met. Many believe the disappearance of deficit is illusory because the demand is counted at the wholesale level, while at the level of end-consumers there is still unmet demand. Regardless, the direction is clear and what is likely to happen is perhaps what is happening today in Europe.
In Europe, as EY expert Matt Rennie observes in a press release, wholesale prices of electricity have halved over the last 5-6 years – from about Euro 80 a MWhr in 2008 to around Euro 30-50 today. Conventional power generators are in trouble, as evidenced by the experience of Germany’s two large utilities, E.ON and RWE. EY estimates that utilities in Europe had to write-off Euro 120 billion of assets. The Economist magazine quotes Rennie (tweeted many times) as saying that never in recent history has the “deployment of capital been more difficult than it is right now in the energy industry.”
In India, it is too early to think of a situation where conventional power generators such as NTPC are unable to sell power, but a hazy spectre of threat to them is showing up on the horizon.
There is a new movement in how we will be designing and building the world, and in two words I call it Cybertecture and urbanovation. Cybertecture means an integration of the application and the knowledge of our design skills with our technological skills.
The pressing issue facing us today is that of urbanization and that is why I would like to touch upon the idea of urbanovation. This represents the integration of urban issues and innovation. Together, these two words represent some of the greatest opportunities for us to rebuild our world and make it more sustainable, more economically powerful and most importantly, alleviate the suffering of the people that live in our cities.
Throughout the eons, as man has created his urban environment, we have always been at odds in our relationship between the built and the natural; the green and the grey; the soft and the hard. This dichotomy exists even today, and we have to look at the opportunities and the overlaps that bring a flavor of both to the lives of those living in our newly designed cities.
As all of us are agents of change, we are beginning to see our world differently and not necessarily by getting rid of our traditions and our culture. In a world fast growing and developing with limited resources, Cybertecture aims to create more awareness with healthier environments to live, work and play in.
Significant RERA Compliance Points
* Sharing of copy of approvals, commencement certificate, sanctioned plan, layout plan, plan of development works, details of contractors, architect, structural engineers to RERA & Buyers
* Sharing of stage wise time schedule of completion of the project to RERA & Buyers
* Withdrawal of project amount from the separate account should be verified and certified by an engineer, an architect, and a chartered accountant
* There shouldn’t be any deviation in the proposed project plans
* Minor alterations of sanctioned plan should be verified by an authorized Architect or Engineer after proper intimation to the buyer.
* Major alterations in the sanctioned plans should get written consent of at least two-thirds of the buyers
* Delay in project completion will make the builder liable to pay the interest on the money
* Transfer of rights by builder can happen only after obtaining prior written consent from two-third buyers
* The builder should address any structural defects reported by customers within a period of 5 years from the date of handing over possession
* The maximum jail term for a developer who violates the order of the appellate tribunal of the RERA is 3 years with or without a fine. Also, failure to comply with these will get the project out of RERA site and no agent or no one can sell the project anymore
* An inoperative co can apply to the Registrar of Companies (RoC) for striking off its name.
* On receipt of application, RoC issues a public notice and intimates tax authorities.
* After 30 days, RoC starts process for striking off name.
* This process is less expensive and cumbersome than voluntary winding up .
* Entrepreneurs can choose to retain the entity as a dormant co.
Statistical details of inoperative cos and those struck off
number of inactive cos=1,42,373.
Cos struck off=2,45,205.
number of inactive cos=1,39,373.
Cos struck off=2,38,417.
number of inactive cos=1,38,691.
Cos struck off=2,51,490.
As of Nov 30 2016
number of inactive cos=1,38,410.
Cos struck off=2,57,913.
MEMU (Mainline Electric Multiple Unit) trains generally transport passengers between smaller stations. As against general trains wherein a locomotive pulls the coaches, in MEMU services, each passenger car has motive power to run the train. This is another reason why these trains can be started and stopped quickly compared to long trains. MEMUs on electric power that is supplied through an overhead catenary. DEMU is another type of train – Diesel Electric Multiple Unit – which runs on diesel as the primary source, but that too powers the electric motor in the train.
In the past, a series of land scandals have rocked the NCR district;new age drone assisted tech will counter that.manu pubby reports The idea started with one of the several Property disputes that the national capital's neighbouring district of Gurugram has of got used to by now. Two o India's prominent real estate developers were locked in battle over a sliver of land - one coming up with a commercial project and the other building a new set of residential apartments. What should have been a fairly easy matter to resolve was complicated by the fact that despite several attempts to demarcate the two plots, government officials with available tools could not accurately locate a seasonal rivulet at the centre of the problem. For a country where land is at premi-um and often in the middle of business and personal feuds, India has an anti-quated method of measuring and re-cording it depending largely on pains-taking ground surveys and decades old maps in which errors have amplified by both commission and omission.
A new initiative that has won this year's National eGovernance award hopes to reverse this, creating what are perhaps the most ac-Two dozen curate maps in Asia that can be used to satellites, verify land holding, a specially demarcate bounda-modified ries and help resolve short range land disputes pend-drone and a ing in Gurugram. team of ex- Two dozen satel-perts have lites, a specially created a modified short range digital map of drone and a team of the district experts that has been at work for over two years has for the first time created a digital map of the district, with geo refereneine at land holding levels that has helped identify errors that crept into official land department records over the years.
"We found that in the Manesar. Tehsil for instance, errors had crept in between 1957 and 2016. These er-rors were measured at 7.39% and have been brought down to just 0.1%," Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner T Sat yaprakash told ET. While giving these digital maps legal validity is the next big challenge, this is the first time that digital rights are-cords (jamabandis) with land holdings verified conclusively can be generated. "The resolution of these maps make them the most accurate ever used in Asia for land record management pur-poses. The resolution of 5 cm generated with the help of a special drone is a big s improvement over the 20cm resolution that has been used in a singapore project"satyaprakash says.
This new age tool will assist the administration on its most difficult duties checking on encroachments,collecting property tax. urban planning and conclusively resolving thousands of land disputes that have burdened the legal system. Officials estimate that cost for the pilot project in Gurugram is just slightly over 5Olakh. The plan is to progressively connect several government databases to this digital map linkage to A ADHAR numbers for example can generate land parcel IDs that can be used to instantly verify land sale and purchase transactions. The end product could be a public website that can be a one stop shop before any land transaction.If implemented throghout the state of Haryana.the project has the potential of attracting industry as well which can access the digital database to plan a production hub with adequate available land,transport links,resources and expansion potential. A lot of work however is still pending to draw up a comprehensive database ,including gathering more accurate aerial imagery,the drone that was being used to map the district for example,could not get accurate readings of urban gurugram-magnetic interference led to it crashing thrice,bringing up costs,india may for the first time have a clear,dispute free platform to generate land title,what remains to be seen is if this is taken ahead the whole way.
Land Disputes : The CBI and ED are probing the acquisition of 912 acres of land in gurugram in 2004 by the Bhupinder Hooda led government that allegedly led to a loss of 1500 crore to farmers and benefittef land developers. A report by the justice Dhingra commission has alleged irregularities in granting favours to firms promoted by robert vadra by the previous Haryana government.
GEO Referencing : In traditiona maps,village junctions and trijunctions are used as refernce points to measure all land holdings.however these physical markings are either destroyed or lost over time,giving revenue officials 'freedom' to democrate land.this is often misused, leading to thousands of land disputes and vagrancies in records where same peice of land ends up being officially 'owned' by more than one party.The gurugram project has used the Universal triangulation method to create a layer of reference points to determine land holdings.A set of 24 satellites were used for the geo referncing at manesar and a drone was used to provide sub meter resolution images.what emrged was interesting an alaram 7.39% error rate in land records. This is now being resolved to less than 0.1 percent with the new data at hand's.
A delegation of more than 20 of the UK's most innovative companies recently visited kochi. The business delegation showcased of their high-tech smart city solutions at the India-UK Tech Summit in New Delhi. The delegation then travellled to Kochi where they met representatives from government departments and industry to explore partnership opprtunities. The mission will build on existing UK support to kochi. Including for their smart city bid and work on urban master-planning in Aluva. This is the first and largest business delegation of its kind to Kerala. The companies visiting Kochi will pitch the latest in cutting-edge smart city solutions to both government and industry. The UK's smart cities preffer is vast from the development of autonomous vehicles, intelligent transport systems, data analytics and smart energy. We look forward to exploring the many partnership opportunities that kochi smart city has to offer
INDIA-US SMART CITIES PARTNERSHIP : With Donald Trump taking over as the US president key American official said the country’s partnership on building Smart Cities in India “will endure “the transition in the administration.”As we look ahead to the New Year, we know there will be transitions and adjustments. I can say with conviction that our smart cities partnership with India will endure, “US Embassy Deputy Chief of mission Mary Kay arlson said.”It will endure thanks to all of you and your commitment to building on tremendous progress we have already made to help make India's cities smart, efficient and prepared for sustainable growth in the decades ahead ,”she said, addressing a workshop on smart cities.” Much has already been accomplished with our US-India Smart City collaboration since it began in earnest back in 2014, when the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) invited us to be part of India’s smart Cities directive,” she said.