Visakhapatnam (also commonly known as Vizag) is a port city in the state of Andhra Pradesh. It is the largest city in the state and its IT capital, with a population of 2 million. Visakhapatnam was ranked eighth among the first 20 cities to be selected as part of the Indian Government’s Smart Cities Mission. Its smart city program is being driven by Greater Visakhapatnam Smart City Corporation Limited (GVSCCL), the special purpose vehicle (SPV) created by the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC).
The program includes a wide range of proposals to improve the city’s sanitation, livability, safety and security, transportation and mobility, water supply, reliability of power supply, and lighting infrastructure as well as improving government services and local amenities. GVSCCL estimates that around $220 million will be required over 5 years to meet its plans for infrastructure and service improvement split between grants from the Smart Cities Mission, matching funds from the city, and other investments.
As part of the smart city program, the GVSCCL has deployed a City Operations Center that provides integrated management for a range of city services. The Operations Center is based on an Integrated Command Control and Communication (ICCC) solution provided by Fluentgrid by deploying its Actilligence® urban platform.
The city’s goals for the operations center include increased sanitation and health, public safety, traffic accident reduction, improved administrative efficiency especially about revenue collections, and e-government services, and better preparation for disaster management. The plan is for the operations center to integrate with a wide range of city systems include city surveillance, traffic monitoring, street lighting, waste monitoring, and utility systems, as well as core financial and management systems.
Overall 23 city systems are integrated onto the platform. An executive dashboard provides an integrated view across department-level systems and overall performance. Data is also collated across systems for analysis to understand activity patterns and abnormal events, provide timely alerts on actionable events and convert them into incidents mapped with configurable Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Vizag operations center data is also integrated into Andhra Pradesh state-wide real time governance system (larger state-wide version of command center).
As a further extension of its smart city ambitions, GVSCCL has installed smart poles in 50 strategic locations across the city. The smart poles support several functions including provision of Wi-fi hotspots, weather monitoring, air quality monitoring, CCTV, panic button and public messaging. The smart poles are integrated into the City Operations Center. Overall, 15 smart elements are integrated with the City Operations Center. Other potential applications include acting as small cell locations for extending cellular coverage in the city.
Some of the benefits realized so far include
- City wide revenue collection numbers have greatly increased, with overall efficiency increased by 43%
- Citizen grievances response and closure rate has almost touched 99%, with dramatic improvement in SLA adherence (Increased from 5% to 27%)
- Effectively used the City Operations Center to bring the spread of Dengue under control within the city, and swiftly mobilize various departments to treat the identified cases with utmost attention and care
While Vizag City Operations Center was inaugurated by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Sri. N. Chandra Babu Naidu in the month of Feb 2018, the journey so far has been very impactful, and on a path to successfully realizing the overall envisioned benefits.
In his own terms GVMC Commissioner M Hari Narayanan said, ‘a city cannot be smart without the basic stuff such as sanitation, livability, public safety, transportation and good governance’. He envisions the City Operations Center eventually become a platform for good governance while addressing the ever-changing aspirations of citizens and minimizing the problems faced by city administration, in the process it empowers citizens to move forward, ecosystem and industry to flourish.