SMART, AND TRENDSETTER
Other aspiring â€˜Smart Citiesâ€™ in India can learn a lot from Mahindra World City in Jaipur. By Anuradha Shukla
MUCH BEFORE the Smart Cities became a buzzword in India, Mahindra World City Jaipur was first to conceptualise a township that was financially viable, environmentally sustainable and with all the modern infrastructure and features that now define a Smart City.
Started in 2007, as a public-private partnership between the Mahindra Group and Rajasthan Government, the township is spread across 3,000-acres. With a 2,000-acre multi-product SEZ with dedicated zones for IT/ITeS, engineering and related industries, handicrafts, apparel, gems and jewellery, warehousing and logistics as well as a Domestic Tariff Area (DTA) for various industries, the city sets an example of organised city.
"The city planning needs to be holistic, which provides people livelihood, gives a better life and is environmentally sustainable. That is the main vision behind our townships. We have already started the project in Chennai. We are planning it in phases. We first need to have infrastructure, offices and residential spaces. It will give employment to people and a good quality of life to the residents," said Sanjay Srivastava, business head, MWC, Jaipur.
The city has already put smart infrastructure in place. Be it smart street lighting, parking, waste management, integrated building energy management system, smart metering, integrated security and surveillance, the management has taken care of smart technology in phases in the city.
"The smart city talks about combining smart technologies with sustainable living and eco-friendly solutions. We tried to adopt all the necessary features of the smart cities, much before the mission of Smart Cities. Our prime focus is on sustainability. MWC Jaipur has encapsulated a very comprehensive vision of a smart city, using the right technology. We are using 100 percent LED lighting. We have installed solar rooftops. In the long term, over 66 per cent of MWC Jaipurâ€™s water demands will be met through grey water recycling," said Srivastava.
Given the fact that Rajasthan is water deficient, the design approach ensures maximum utilisation of potable water as well as treating and recycling to avoid water scarcity. The water supply distribution systems are designed to not only reduce energy consumption by at-least 30 per cent but also enhance efficiency with reduction in losses up to 50 per cent.
Street lights and common areas are equipped with tap changing ballasts and astronomical timer setting switches, thereby saving overall electricity consumption.
Last year in June, Mahindra World City, Jaipur became the first in Asia to be certified as Stage 2 of C40. It is the only project from Asia and emerging economies to reach stage 2. C40 is a network of the worldâ€™s megacities committed to addressing climate change.
"We focus on inclusive growth. We are the only SEZ with pre-certification for green from Indian Green Building Council. While we are doing business and creating industrial spaces, we are also taking care of environment. Stakeholders have to take care of these facts. No red-level polluting industries are allowed here. That is what sets us apart from the rest," added Srivastava.
Good infrastructure, the state-of-art facilities and strategic location along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor has attracted many companies. MWC Jaipur houses facilities for more than 70 leading global and Indian companies that include major IT/ITeS clients like Infosys, Deutsche Bank, MetLife, Genpact, Wipro and Nagarro Software, JCB among others. Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd has also opened a spare parts warehouse in Mahindra World City, Jaipur.
The project was delayed and is now running behind the time, especially due to the global slowdown in 2008. However, the company is confident to catch up as more companies are coming to Jaipur.
Last month only, the company launched Phase-II of its DTA spread over 500 acres. Aggregate investments by MWC Jaipur and its constituent units have crossed Rs. 3,100 crores as of the quarter ending September 30, 2016, with cumulative exports by the 37 companies currently operational exceeding Rs 5,300 crores, and direct and indirect employment created for more than 29,000 persons by these companies.
The company is also undertaking the next stage of development that includes building residential and social infrastructure.
"The whole infrastructure will take some time as we are working in phases. After all building a planned city takes some time," sums up Srivastava.