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City Next 2017 from ISA concludes in Bangalore


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This National Symposium on Automation & ICT in Smart Cities was well attended by over 200 participants

A national symposium on “Automation & ICT in Smart Cities” . 26th & 27th May.,2017 conducted in the spacious and modern settings of Sheraton Grand Bangalore Hotel.

Over more than half a year the team at ISA Bangalore section made strenuous efforts to design a program on this topic and assemble all relevant persons at one stage. Finally it took off and the following is a brief report of the proceedings.

Detailed presentations as shared by the speakers are loaded on the website www.isabangalore.org.in

Day 1 Inaugural session

Address by the keynote speaker – Mr.R K Misra , Founder, Director : Center For Smart Cities

Mr. Misra, started off the proceedings by emphasising the fact that though a majority of Indians live in villages , the cities are the economic engines accounting for over two-thirds of the GDP. Therefore , he said , making cities more productive in a sustainable and smart way will have a pull-up effect on growth in rural areas as well. As we go forward from here he expressed confidence that many misconceptions about what is implied by a smart city will get cleared . It is not just about enhancing digital information and communication but for creation of high quality liveable urban spaces. He observed that it augurs well at this stage that a well thought out , fair and transparent Smart City development policy has been formulated by the MoUD . Our multi-faceted speaker concluded his brief and precise address stating that once we see examples of transformation in the currently selected cities then similar changes will get adopted quickly throughout urban India.

Session I , Panel Discussion I – Moderator : RK Misra Other panellists : Mr.K.Jairaj, B-PAC; Mr.Ahmed Khan, ABB ; Mr.Anil Kadam, Schneider Electric; Mr.Sudip Das , PWC ; Mr.Anurag Saxena ,Deloitte .

Challenges to be faced are – Coming up with innovative solutions benefitting majority of the population thereby , also, overcoming hurdles from vested interests ; need for policy and technology to match ; the responsibility will be with CEO and committee but executive power will be with officials of existing machinery; ensuring co-ordinated implementation of all services like water supply, power, gas, drainage and roads ; availability of ‘smart’ and experienced human resources. It was expressed by a panellist that though as of now there is no visible outcome of the Smart City (SC) initiative, sustained ground work of good quality is happening . which is likely to show fast results soon – much like a certain bamboo tree variety which blooms suddenly.

Session I , Panel Discussion 2 – Moderator : Dr.Sujit Kumar , Klimart ; Other panellists : Mr.Anirban Choudhary, AP ADE park ; Mr.Ravindra Kumar, Venkatramanan Associates ; Mr.Paul Koshy, Aegis Enia; Mr.Nejeeb Khan, Khan Global

This team consisting of architects ,urban planners and infrastructure developers brought their perspective as a very relevant input to the Smart City development process. The ‘money’ is in the cities hence they are always growing. Yet how can a city smartly tackle the issues of high emissions and cramped living. What is more relevant is to have a ‘happy’ city rather than just a ‘smart’ one. Technology and urban design should facilitate the joy of living, the natural human urge to stay connected with nature and to have satisfactory relations with other people around. The phrase ‘emotional infrastructure’ was first mentioned in this panel and it struck a chord with all present. The aim has to be on arriving at the optimum city design which enhances lifestyle of all including the least empowered citizens. The audience was treated to impacting visuals of architectural design examples from around the world which exemplified the ideas proposed by this team of panellists.

Session 2 , Panel Discussion 3 – Moderator : Mr.Amitabh Satyam , Author “Smart transformations” ; Other panellists : Mr.Harshit Desai,KPMG; Mr.Mahesh Mahajan,Accenture; Mr.Anurag Saxena,Deloitte; Mr.Suresh Ponnuru,Frost & Sullivan.

While developing the Strategic plan , the team indicated that the participation of dwellers has to be ensured instead of only consultants. It is necessary to have a definition of ‘smartness’ to arrive at the broad framework . One aim , for example, can be to be a net Carbon sink environment. The best experiences of cities abroad will be valuable to study. However the solutions have to be tailored to the local realities in geology and social dynamics.

Session 3, Technology session – Theme : Automation for Smart Energy

Session chair : Rajesh Rathi, Control Infotech ;

Speakers : Mr.Ahmad Khan,ABB,(Power gen.& Water), ; Mr.Anil Kadam, Schneider electric (Smart Cities) ; Mr.AK D’souza , BESCOM ; Mr.Debi Prasad Dash, IESA ; N.Srinivas ABB (Oil& Gas Engineering).

From the presentations of this session we got a glimpse of the plans underway for transformation of the electricity infrastructure into an Integrated smart grid over the next ten years. There will be increasing use of automation and digitalisation across generation, transmission, distribution and consumption. This is aimed for rise in supply of adequate, reliable and efficient power over an increasingly complex system.

Mr.Khan showcased his company ABB’s expertise in terms of electrical products , automation solutions and digitalised services for this sector .

Mr.Kadam gave a comprehensive picture of what exactly is envisaged in smart grid management and how Schneider Electric is geared up to cater to the needs involved.

Mr.D’Souza of BESCOM presented on some of their IT enabled initiatives in consumer data acquisition and other innovations in progress.

Mr.Dash from IESA revealed about the surge in battery-based storage of energy across many domains and its benefits and challenges from a grid perspective.

Mr.Srinivas of ABB spoke from their experience about the precise instrumentation , advanced telemetry and well-designed SCADA systems needed for establishing and operating a smart CNG supply system.

Session 4, Technology session – Theme : Automation for Smart Water & Waste Management

Session chair : Haribabu Bollipalli VA Tech WABAG;

Speakers : Mr.Martin Schreyer (Water & Infrastructure), ABB, Germany ; Mr.Anil Kadam, Schneider electric ; Mr.Vivek Malhotra , (PG – Flow) ABB ; Mr.Prabhat Ballal ICAM Technologies .

While showcasing the solutions available , the presentations by the speakers also gave an excellent overview about the water cycle related to cities – the sub-systems involved , their components and technical challenges in ensuring fresh water purification, it’s supply and distribution ; waste water collection and recycling ; management of utility operational requirements and customer interface.

Mr.Schreyer highlighted some global examples of advanced automation applied to city water supply , waste water control and mandatory information management, precise water leakage detection and control and GIS based monitoring of large area water systems.

Mr.Malhotra introduced about the accurate and smart instrumentation needed for advanced water flow management and its interfacing with a cloud based IT infrastructure for enabling centralised operations.

Mr.Ballal explained about the components needed in a city-wide smart waste water system including process control systems with advanced instrumentation which enable a networked operation of all the processing plants in the system from a centralised location with added features of energy consumption analytics.

Mr.Kadam briefed about the solutions provided by his company focussed on Network performance monitoring, Leakage management , asset performance management , energy management and protection of people and infrastructure during extreme weather conditions.

Day 2

Session 5 , Technology session – Theme : Smart City Command and Control centre.

Speakers : Mr.Sayaji Shinde, Schneider electric (Smart Cities) ;Mr.Ashwin Amarapur , AllGoVision ; Mr.Mathew Verghese, Reliance Jio Infocomm ; Vivek Mehrotra , GE-Predix ; Mr.Bipin Pradeep Kumar, Gaia Smart Cities.

Mr.Shinde was a very distinguished speaker on day 2 with his global experience in many Asian cities plus his experience in an ongoing project at Naya Raipur in India. He presented the concept of a Command and Control centre approach. It processes live data and displays status to the staff for contextualised real time decision making, cutting across departments. Moreover through process analytics it also enables acquisition of operational and business intelligence for continuous improvements and for maximising ROI. Many sub-systems can be integratedly managed like interface with citizens via e-Governance , control and management of water, power, sewage, Communications, transport services, traffic and security surveillance.

Mr.Amarapur had the full attention of the audience when he brought out the power of machine vison coupled with analytics and its far superior capabilities compared to conventional manual methods. This will be a very superior aid, he explained in umpteen city scenarios like traffic management , crowd management , face recognition , intrusion detection , access control and data acquisition of footfalls in malls.

Mr.Verghese pointed out that the rate of growth of Voice connections in India was the fastest in the world . Now it is the turn of growth in data with a likely usage level of 50 trillion Gb by 2020. This , he said, will keep pace with demand and also solve the present drawbacks of poor reliability and low internet penetration especially in non-urban areas. The strategy of his company to achieve this , he expressed , was mainly by increasing fiberized and 4G enabled towers and their data handling capacity.

Mr.Malhotra presented a very elegant concept of an integrated and open platform which can be customised by solution providers for unlimited smart applications in city scenarios . He gave the example of GE’s Predix platform which consists of sensors in the field communicating with the Predix-based application software on a cloud environment. The user interface is via individual customised Apps enabling dashboards for real time interactions.

Mr.Pradeep Kumar briefly mentioned statistics about the adoption of a city command centre approach from among the cities currently selected for the Smart cities project by the MoUD.

Session 6 , Technology session – Theme : Automation & ICT for smart mobility

Session chair : PRK Saravanan, Ashok Leyland

Speakers : Mr.Abhilash Nair, ABB (MicroGrid) ;Mr.Raja Gayam, GMW; Mr.Barath Rajagopalan, Ashok Leyland .

Mr.Nair focussed on the aspect of charging batteries in electrically driven cars and buses which are expected to come on the roads at a fast pace . He explained that most car manufacturers have shifted to the faster DC charging method, from AC charging . A smart city has to plan for the availability of charging stations to cater to on-the-move charging of such EVs. This will encourage higher usage of EVs. He presented the products and solutions from his company for this requirement including MicroGrid stations.

Mr.Gayam , an entrepreneur with 7 years of rich experience in manufacturing and selling Electric 3-wheelers and bicycles , shared their firm’s innovative solutions some of which are use of IOT, mobile phone and cloud to monitor and guide about battery status and swapping stations for quick battery replacement.

Mr.Rajagopalan made clear that the adoption of electric buses will lead to greater environmental benefits than any other EV due to their higher capacity. The challenges to be resolved are reduction in battery costs, ensuring quick charging and swapping of batteries and availability of charging stations. He presented his company’s strategy to adopt Li Ion batteries and to develop partnerships to create country-wide stations for charging and swapping.

Session 7 , Technology session – Theme : Smart City Startups

Session chair : Dr.Sunil Shah , ISA Bangalore

Speakers : Ms.Shampa Ganguly, PrisTech ; Mr.Sanjeev Subhedar, Datamatics Mr.Rajat KM , HyperVerge ; Mr.A.Vaidyanathan , PAQS ; Mr.Mayur Mehta , PWC

Ms.Ganguly informed that 57 cities out of the first 100 smart cities selected have asked for smart parking solution of vehicles . She presented broad details of an innovative IOT enabled method developed by their company and proven in a few locations , to cater to such needs. Any driver who has their app on the mobile will be guided to an available parking slot in the target area thereby minimising time , fuel , traffic congestion and also maximising revenue for the authorities who are providing the space. Their system relies on real time data analytics at the core with dynamic inputs from sensors via wireless gateway devices arranged in a mesh throughout target locations.

Mr.Subhedar . From this speaker another component of smart city infrastructure was introduced to the audience , namely , automatic fee charging system and access control at highway toll gates, metro train stations, parking lots . He shared their experience with the ongoing turnkey work at metro stations of a state capital using appropriate software on hundreds of interconnected computers , ticketing terminals and automatic gates.

Mr.Rajath shared about the innovative use of Artificial Intelligence by his startup stage company for pattern recognition with machine vision with a high level of accuracy.

Mr.Vaidyanathan presentation was related to a significant environmental aspect which any city would aspire to maintain at healthy levels and that is air quality. He shared his company’s venture into this area to provide an economical solution based on sensors to acquire the raw field data , connected wirelessly with data aggregation and analytics systems which automatically pass on for display the information in required format at the customer’s terminals.

Mr.Mehta gave a very lucid presentation on the topic of cyber security in IT ,OT ,and Control system environments . He narrated details of well known infiltrations like Stuxnet and the more recent WannaCry attack. He concluded with a brief idea of Standards(ISA99 / IEC 62443) based approach to safeguard from field (sensor) level right upto Management level of system hierarchy.

The seminar was well attended with over 200 participants inside and stalls outside. The end of day formal evaluation feedback indicated a high level of appreciation for the content and delivery of the topics.