Mumbai-based real estate developer Lodha Group and global IT major IBM have tied up to build and manage smart city infrastructure for Palava, a greenfield city development project of the realty developer, located to the extreme north of Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), at the junction of Navi Mumbai and Dombivali.
The Lodha Group plans to spend R400 crore over the next 10 years in adopting smart city initiatives in Palava, Shaishav Dharia, development director—Palava, Lodha Group, told reporters on Wednesday.
Lodha has already tied up with another diversified technology major General Electric (GE) to treat waste water for re-use and for landscaping, flushing etc in the new planned city.
To begin with, the scope of IBM’s involvement in Palava will be in public safety arena. IBM will be defining and setting up technology enabled procedures like an integrated command centre to monitor end-to-end operations of the city. In terms of physical infrastructure, it will involve building security system for citizens through smart cards and security cameras.
Special services similar to the 311 & 911 facilities abroad have also been incorporated into Palava’s infrastructure, Dharia said. The scope of the contract between Lodha and IBM is for five years at present, with an option of extension later, he said.
Smart city development in India has gained much focus in the last one month or so, after the concept has found place in the new government’s electoral manifesto.
Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) has said that it will initiate building 100 new cities; enabled with the latest in technology and infrastructure.
“Recent projections show India’s urban population soaring from 340 million in 2008 to 590 million in 2030, making the proliferation of practical and proven smart city interventions into existing and future cities essential for preventing strain on urban resources. It is our endeavour to make Palava a city that sets that benchmark,” Dhamodaran Ramakrishnan, director (smarter planet solutions), IBM India/South Asia said.
Palava City is a 4,000 acre proposed city development by Lodha, which is being developed in phases.
“So far, R4,000 crore of investments have been made in Palava,” Dharia said.
The first phase of development spread over 250 acres is already completed and second phase of development is currently going on, a spokesperson from Lodha said.
The company has sold 22,000 housing units, of which 80% were in Phase 1. The apartments in one and two BHK configurations range from R38 lakh to R70 lakh, while price of luxury villas are in the range of R2-3 crore.