Examples and case studies

Learn from Pune and improve revenue by 4-5%


Citizen mobility is one of the key issues in a city like Pune. The city relies solely on buses for public transportation, but the average number of buses per lakh population is only 37! Additionally, buses in Pune have issues with availability (about 25 per cent fleet off-road most of the time) and reliability (about 84 per cent routes have a waiting time of more than 20 minutes). As a result, the public transport trip share is a mere 18 per cent.

Pune has grown radially, with most new job opportunities in information technology (IT) and manufacturing being created on its outskirts. This has increased the average trip length to 10 km. A significant rise in the number of private vehicles, lack of efficient public transportation options, and 30 per cent of the bypass traffic going through the heart of the city, leads to massive traffic congestions in and around the city. The current average traffic speed in Pune is only 18 km/hour, which is a shocking figure.

The intervention
A state-of-the-art Transport Command and Control Centre for traffic has been set-up at the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) headquarter. The Transport Command and Control Centre captures the real-time movement of buses based on the GPS tracker, which is placed on the buses. The control centre has four servers and 20 computers, which is managed by 21 people on the ground.

What’s more! The central command control room helps city authority to monitor driving quality and service levels. It tracks more than 1,500 buses (vehicle tracking system) by installing GPS and monitors vehicle health through vehicle monitoring system (VMS) across 1,080 buses with intelligent kits and back-end maintenance management system.

To improve security, around 510 buses are equipped with CCTV surveillance and panic buttons. For swifter communication, a public information system (PIS), comprising of bus guides and LED screens depicting the expected time of arrival, and other critical information across all 190 bus stops and in around 510 buses, along with mobile apps and website providing the real-time information have been deployed. PMPML has also equipped WiFi in 1,080 buses with an in-bus information system.

The vehicle tracking system is enabling PMPML to respond to incidents for over-speeding, harsh braking, skipping signals, etc. Vehicle health monitoring is expected to improve fleet utilization, translating to a 4-5 per cent increase in revenue and making PMPML healthier. The surveillance system will improve security of passengers and transport assets/fleet, and ensure faster emergency response system. Using central command control room will ensure faster decision-making for traffic management, forecasting of traffic conditions and volume, and will help with future planning of transportation. Intelligent asset management will optimize investments and save 10-20 per cent of the annual maintenance cost.

Kamikatsu to be 'Zero Waste' town by 2020

Zero Waste Truck, Kamikatsu

Kamikatsu, a small village in the mountains of Shikoku Island in south-west Japan, aims at being the country's first 'Zero Waste' community by 2020. And going by the pace of implementation so far, it seems that the Japanese' town is very much on the defined path to achieve the same.

Today in Kamikatsu, there’s no such thing such as 'Trash'. You won’t find a single garbage bin in any of the town’s homes, and there’s not a dump anywhere within driving distance. Instead, the resourceful residents must compost all waste from their food, and sort out other trash into 34 separate categories viz - plastic bottles, glass bottles, bottle caps, razor blades, Styrofoam, and various other paraphernalia to name a few.

What is Zero Waste?

'Zero Waste' in simpler words also means 'No waste'. A concept that follows a philosophy of redesigning resource life cycles so that all products are reused. The concept includes 'recycling' but goes beyond 'recycling' by taking a 'whole system' approach to the vast flow of resources and waste through human society.

'Zero Waste' maximises recycling, minimises waste, reduces consumption and ensures that products are made to be reused, repaired or recycled back into nature or the marketplace.

How did it all begin for Kamikatsu?

The small town with a total population of less then 2,000 (as of April 2015), took its first step towards the 'Zero Waste' movement some 30-odd years ago as the town built an incinerator after pressurised by the national government to stop burning rubbish in an open fire.

The model was, however, soon banned following health concerns about the dioxins it the plant produced. Not only did the town lose out by building a useless incinerator, but it lost money by having to pay large sums to use the facilities of a nearby town.

This forced the people of Kamikatsu to find an alternative solution. The town researched cases around the world and eventually focused on 'recycling'. As by 'recycling' the waste was turned into reusable products, hence thee was no trash sent to landfills and incinerators.

Degrees of waste separation

To recycle waste the 'waste' first needed to be separated into different categories.

The residents of Kamikatsu started with nine categories of waste separation, and over time by 2002, the number of categories grew to 34. It’s the largest number in Japan, and most probably in the world.

What is also significant is that all organic waste is managed within each household and recycled 100 per cent. Many residents own their farms and make their own fertiliser; others buy the local compost, 80 per cent of the cost is subsidised by the town office.

There are no garbage trucks, people take their waste to the town collection centre and separate it into the various categories by themselves.

Inside the centre, there are 60 different spaces and boxes which help and educate people on waste segregation. Each space or box is labelled to show where it will be recycled, what it will become and how much it will cost (or earn) in doing so.

All bottles, cans and even plastic food wrappers must be washed. Newspapers and magazines have to be piled into bundles. Anything in good condition ends up at a recycling store. Residents may drop off or take home whatever they like free of charge.

Current scenario

Data shows that Kamikatsu's recycling rate has risen from 55 per cent a decade ago to about 80 per cent today. This is based on the waste coming into the waste collection centre, not the waste in all households, which would make the per centage even higher. Five years after the scheme's inception an overwhelming 98 per cent of the population uses home composters, which cost a merely 3,000 yen with government subsidies.

The town also has a 'kuru-kuru' shop (“circular” in Japanese), where residents can bring in used items and take things home for free. It also has a 'kuru-kuru' factory, where local women make bags and clothes out of discarded clothes.

The town collection centre centre and these facilities are managed and operated by a local non-profit organisation called 'Zero Waste Academy'. The centre is visited not only by elementary and Junior High School's but also students and organisations from all over the world. The number of tourists to the town has seen a steady uptrend, to about 2,500 visitors per year as of 2014.

Way forward

The next step is to prevent waste production altogether. This should involve not only the residents from the town but also businesses, both in and out of the town, involved in material production and supply.

In 2015, the people of Kamikatsu created a roadmap for achieving 'Zero waste' by 2020. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, in working together and coming up with innovative solutions, Kamikatsu is very well on their way.

Wondering if Kamikatsu with a population of less than 2,000 is the sole town aiming for 'Zero Waste', then hold-on there are some prominent cites of UK and US too following suit - Italy's Capannori, Buenos Aires, Sweden and San Francisco to name a few.

Achieving 'Zero Waste' in big cities might seem impossible, but these cities have implemented plans that are getting them very close. Now it's time for the rest of the world to follow.

The Case of Thane

The Case of Thane

The Thane Municipal Corporation has undertaken a host of initiatives across various sectors to improve the quality of life of residents.

Solid waste management (SWM)

Solid waste generation in the TMC area is around 650 MT per day. In addition to cleaning, waste collection, segregation, transport and disposal, TMC’s interventions in waste management include e-waste disposal; vermi-composting projects; preparation of an artificial lake during Ganapati Festival; a bio-methanisation plant with technical support from BARC, biomedical waste disposal with the support of NGO Enviro Vigil; plastic recycling and composting project with the help of NGOs Apoorva Mahila Sanghatna and Stree Mukti Sanghatna; and a proposed incineration plant (waste to energy) on a public-private partnership (PPP) model. What’s more, TMC will give 5 per cent discount in property tax to societies that reduce solid waste up to 50 per cent by recycling/reusing.

Water supply

TMC’s water treatment plant is at Temghar. In 2011-12, water supply was 460 lakh MLD with water quality in the distribution system at 95 per cent, conforming to WHO standards. TMC has actively worked to augment water supply through automation, which reduces water distribution losses. To achieve 24/ 7 water supply within the municipal area, automatic water meters, water auditing, use of automatic SCADA facility and improvement in water distribution are being implemented. A 110 MLD water supply project was also commissioned in August 2009.

Sewerage system

Total sewage generation in the city is 300 MLD. But the existing network covers only 15 per cent geographical area and 17 per cent of the population by way of underground sewerage network and thus only 54 MLD sewage is treated in the present treatment plant. TMC has provided about 10,000 public toilet units, including the pay-and-use Sulabh model and conventional units. A low-cost sanitation system is also being implemented in slums. TMC has set up a 120 MLD STP at Kopari based on ‘C-Tech process’ that provides the highest treatment efficiency possible in a single-step biological process.


Projects include lake conservation; continuous ambient air monitoring with assistance from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board; e-waste disposal; vermi-composting projects; and stringent implementation of pollution control guidelines. TMC has established a number of monitoring centres for environmental protection. Further, water is conserved through compulsory rainwater harvesting and the use of bore-well water for gardening and flushing.


The Ministry of Energy selected Thane to be developed as a ‘Solar City’. Accordingly, it is mandatory for all new buildings and existing public buildings to install a solar water heating system. Existing residential buildings get a rebate of 10 per cent on property tax on installation of a solar water heating system. TMC aims to integrate RE and EE measures for energy security and reduce GHG emissions. A target of 10 per cent reduction in the city’s energy consumption has been set. Also, a master plan has been prepared and a solar city cell is being established.

Indeed, energy efficiency is a priority for TMC. Initiatives include a pilot project of GSM-based street light management system that saves up to 30 per cent energy and energy-efficient lighting and fans in municipal buildings.

E governance

TMC uses modern technology and networking in surveillance and governance, including its own comprehensive website. Complaints received through email are addressed by the Commissioner through newspapers. A Citizen Facilitation Centre (CFC) has been set up to achieve transparency and accountability. Further, TMC has installed 6 LED boards on an experimental basis to display information on its projects and public service messages.

Over the years, TMC has won accolades aplenty, including the HUDCO’s Clean City Award (1999-2000); zonal awards under the Sant Gadge Baba Swachata Abhiyan; and energy conservation awards from the Maharashtra Energy Development Agency and HUDCO.

The Surat Experience

The Surat Experience

Once called the dirtiest city in India, Surat achieved a remarkable transformation in less than two years after the plague of December 1994 owing to improved municipal management and strong leadership.

Following the outbreak of the plague in the outskirts of the city, the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) launched a seven-point action plan that involved the government, NGOs, civil society, and private sector.

The action plan

1. Operation Clean-Up: In May 1995, with a new elected government in place and a new CEO in charge, a major drive was launched for slum improvement and solid waste management (SWM). Simultaneously, the city administration was totally revamped, staff and equipment redistributed, and contracting for solid waste collection and street cleaning initiated.

2. SMC’s initiatives: Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) worked to implement an integrated system through rehabilitation of existing sanitary staff, asset utilisation and superior technologies. SMC implemented part of the system through JNNURM funds and part with public-private partnership (PPP). The SWM project aimed to reinforce primary and secondary collection, transportation, and development of transfer stations (TS) and sanitary landfill site. SMC pioneered ‘time place movement’ wherein collection vehicles move in accordance with the time schedule with areas of coverage and number of units allotted. The 6 TS handle the entire 1,400 TPD of waste generated in Surat.

3. Administrative revamping: To improve SWM, the six zones of the city were further subdivided into 52 sanitary wards, each with one sanitary inspector, two sanitary sub-inspectors, and three mukadams (supervisors). Micro-level planning ensures equitable distribution of manpower, machinery and finance. Sweepers were posted round the clock at nuisance spots, and such locations cleaned at least twice a day.

4. PPP for SWM: Solid waste collection and transportation has been contracted out in two zones. In the central and west zones, contractors deploy their own vehicles and labour; they are paid per MT of waste transported. In the other zones, contractors hire vehicles from the government and only labour charges are paid to transport waste to the disposal site. As part of the street-sweeping and scraping contracts, all major roads are now cleaned twice—by the contractor’s staff at night and corporation sweepers during the day.

5. SWM monitoring system: To monitor progress, the Daily Activity Report documents each action taken and resources deployed on an everyday basis across the city.

6. Enforcement: SMC started to enforce strict hygiene and sanitation standards in eating houses, sweetshops, fruit, and vegetable shops. Fines for littering were instituted. An ‘administrative charge’ is now levied on all establishments that fail to adhere to public health standards.

7. Slum improvement: Nearly 40 per cent of Surat’s population lives in slums. Streets were paved with Kota stone to facilitate cleaning and public toilets constructed with the assistance of two NGOs, Sulabh and Paryavaran. In the majority of slum pockets, residents voluntarily donated a part of their dwelling to widen the main streets. Paved surface drains were constructed and community water hydrants provided.

The results

The collection efficiency of Surat has improved from 40 per cent in 1995 to 97 per cent at present, while house-to-house collection coverage has improved to 92 per cent. Three-fourths of the slums are now paved and 41 toilet complexes constructed. SMC generates close to 1,400 TPD of waste of which 400 TPD is currently treated in its waste treatment plant developed and managed in partnership with a private agency. On the anvil are a 600 TPD waste-to-energy plant and a 400 TPD integrated waste treatment plant through PPP mode.

Today, Surat is hailed as the second cleanest city in India, prompting urban local bodies (ULBs) across India to emulate its example.

NAINA – The Rs 2,10,000 cr city

Navi Mumbai Airport

The Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area, or NAINA, was created after the Ministry of Environment and Forest lay down 53 conditions to be met before it granted clearances for the Navi Mumbai Airport. Among them was that Navi Mumbai’s development plan had to be revised to avoid haphazard growth around the airport. In January 2013, the Maharashtra government appointed the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) as the planner for NAINA. A swathe of towns and villages from districts far from Navi Mumbai found themselves bundled into a revised Navi Mumbai development plan under NAINA, which is envisioned as a smart city.

The specs

NAINA covers parts of Panvel, Pen, Uran, Karjat and Khalapur (District Raigad), including a total of 270 villages and six talukas, with an area of about 561 sq km. The estimated development cost is about Rs 210,000 crore. NAINA is expected to have a population of 80 lakh over 30 years. While CIDCO will carry out infrastructure development apart from planning the development, internal development will be carried out by private developers. In the first phase, CIDCO will develop 23 villages in Panvel tehsil as a pilot project.

Interim development plan (IDP)

It is mandatory for the special planning authority to prepare a development plan (DP) within three years from the date of appointment. Given the time required to prepare a full-fledged DP, CIDCO decided to prepare an interim DP (IDP) for a part of NAINA. CIDCO will process the proposals in accordance with the Regional Plan proposals in force for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and the DCRs followed by the ADTP, Raigad/ADTP, Thane for the area within NAINA. As for NOC for NA/Zone Certificate and other proposals, applicants have to submit all the required documents to CIDCO.

Infrastructure and connectivity

Navi Mumbai will be one of the few regions in the country with connectivity by all four modes of transport: airport, ports, roads and railway. The Navi Mumbai Metro Rail (NMMR) is expected to begin testing Phase I in December 2016. A new passenger railway line will connect Ulwe and Nhava Sheva in the first phase and finally go up to Uran, the furthest point of Navi Mumbai. And, of course, CIDCO has invited bids for the Navi Mumbai International Airport, which will be developed on 1,160 hectare with the capacity to handle 60 million passengers. The Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link and the Multimodal Corridor also fall under the purview of NAINA.
Indeed, Navi Mumbai has been an investor favourite owing to the infrastructure projects envisaged and its cosmopolitan outlook. CIDCO has ensured round-the-clock water and power supply and physical infrastructure is running smoothly. Social infrastructure in terms of schools and colleges has added value to the lives of residents.

Pricing and future growth

Residential project prices currently range from Rs 3,000 to Rs 15,000 per sq ft for the Navi Mumbai region. While Airoli is considered the most attractive location in terms of infrastructure and development of office space, Panvel and Taloja are the more affordable locations. With the development of NAINA, the Navi Mumbai notified area will get even bigger valuations with the lowest rate expected to be Rs 10,000 per sq ft at any location.
As for NAINA, it will be based on a joint venture between CIDCO and landowners where people create a land pool for common development and enjoy modern infra by providing a minimum of 10 hectare of land. Under CIDCO’s incentive scheme, if people surrender 40 per cent of their land, they will get FSI of 1.7 for development against the currently available 0.1. Clearly, NAINA is geared up to become the biggest supplier of residential units in the region in years to come. 

Reconceptualising Smart Cities: A Reference Framework for India

The purpose of this Compendium is to provide policy makers, academicians, industry and all other stakeholders interested in 'Smart Cities' a collection of different types of resources pertaining to smart cities. It is a supplementary resource document to CSTEP's report titled Reconceptualising Smart Cities: A Reference Framework for India, which contains resources collected between August 2014 and August 2015.


Modern Urbanization: Challenges in setting up Smart Cities

Smart cities aim to reduce anticipated complexities and expenses that accompany future urbanization. Hence, integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), energy efficiency and sustainability form the backbone of these cities. For enabling and supporting these initiatives, the smart cities also require accountable, empowered urban local bodies. Overall, smart cities promise to provide a quality of life that can support future generations sustainably.


Lavasa a 'Smart City'

A 'Smart City' is one that has processes in place to make service delivery better, faster and cheaper. Many times, the application of a new technology will provide this edge, but sometimes it is a low-tech solution that best meets the 'better, faster, cheaper' test. As Lavasa's technology partner, MyCity Technologies helps the city make these decisions; but technologies alone does not make Lavasa (or any city) smart. Proceed to read the Master Plan for Lavasa.