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From detecting stray cattle and clogged manholes to monitoring solid-waste disposal, the Agra Smart City is managed through a central command and control system that works with artificial intelligence

A CCTV camera zooms in on a stray cow roaming the streets of Agra, in Uttar Pradesh. Immediately the system that works on artificial intelligence’s (AI’s) pattern recognition function captures that it is a cow, and an alert goes to a local animal ambulance that picks it up and deposits it at a gaushala (cow shelter).

Potholes, traffic rule violations, even sexual harassment — all this can be detected by the system employed by the Agra Smart City, spread over an area of 2,250 acres. This area is now being monitored 24x7 by an Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC), set up eight months ago. The central control room, manned by 24 specially trained employees, has a large number of visuals zooming in.

AI-powered

There are live updates of clogged manholes, waste collection from houses of the 2.5 lakh population, and vehicles illegally parked. AI is enabled with identification protocols for detection of all of this and more.

Manholes have been fitted with censors that can detect whether they are overflowing and need cleaning, and 3,50,000 houses have been geo-tagged.

“There are results to show,” said G. Anand, Project Planning and Management Expert, Agra Smart City. For example, 836 stray cattle have been detected. Traffic police has been able to track more than 2,000 black-listed and stolen vehicles, and the police department has been able to solve 149 cases with the help of the system.

When the camera catches a person on a two-wheeler riding without a helmet for instance, a red circle appears on the screen, and this information is automatically sent to the police.

The ICCC also controls the smart transport system, adaptive traffic light control, and environment sensors. AI adjusts the duration of traffic lights during peak hours, depending on the vehicular flow on a particular stretch.

The ICCC also has plans to integrate the monitoring and control of parking, street lighting, water meters, and grievance management, says Saurav Agrawal, chief data officer and the person in-charge of the ICCC.

Smart city

Agra is one of the 22 cities which have been able to complete all projects under the Smart City Mission, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2015. Some of the others are Varanasi, Chennai, and Bhubaneswar.

The city was selected to be turned into a smart city in 2017 in the second round. The total project cost of each city under the Smart Cities Mission (SCM) is ₹1,000 crore.

According to Mr Anand, Agra is the second city after Surat to be able to meet all the project deadlines.

Earlier this month, the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs extended, for the second time, the SCM by a year until June 2024, as several cities are yet to complete their projects.

The main objective of the SCM is to promote cities that provide core infrastructure, clean and sustainable environment, and give citizens a decent quality of life through the application of “smart solutions”, meaning greater reliance on systems. It also aims to drive economic growth and improve quality of life through comprehensive work on the social, economic, physical, and institutional pillars of the city.

In Agra, the 19 projects under SCM include a vacuum-based sewerage system integrated with ICCC, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)-based solid waste management collection monitoring through GPS tracking of vehicles and RFID tags, Smart Health Centres catering to the local population, automated self-cleaning toilets and round the clock water supply with metered connections.

The catch, however, is that all the development work has been carried out in 2,250 acres of land, which includes areas around the Taj Mahal and Tajganj area, Agra Fort and its vicinity, and Fatehabad Road, creating an oasis of sorts in the urban space. The rest of the city can choose to replicate this model or choose its own method of development, though some areas are being absorbed in the smart city ambit.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Sreeparna Chakrabarty

Quelle/Source: The Hindu, 15.05.2023

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