Webinar on ‘COVID-19 and revisions necessary for Planning of Smart Cities’

Indian Buildings Congress organised a Webinar on the topic ‘ COVID-19 and revisions necessary for Planning of Smart Cities’ on 19th May, 2020. Shri Shalil Rai Shrivastava, Addl, CEO,Nava Raipur Atal Nagar Smart City Corporation Ltd & E-in-C Nava Raipur Atal Nagar Vikas Pradhikaran, delivered the key note address. Shri Chetan Vaidya, Senior Urban Advisor, GIZ, Former Director NIUA & SPA; Sh. V.R.Bansal, Chief Engineer, North Municipal Corporation of Delhi & EC Member, IBC; Shri Hitesh Vaidya, Director, NIUA, also made their presentation/ speech.

At the outset, the President, IBC Shri Pradeep Mittal welcomed all speakers and viewers in the webinar. This webinar coincided with the 85th birthday of Shri O.P.Goel, founder President of IBC which fell on 18th May a day before the webinar was held. Shri Pradeep Mittal congratulated and conveyed his best wishes to Shri O.P.Goel on his 85th birthday and wished him healthy & peaceful life in the years ahead. The President mentioned about the unmatchable contribution of Shri O.P.Goel in advising IBC in all its activities and towards society in nation building and other social activities. The President briefed the viewers about the role, vision and activities of IBC towards Built Environment and called upon non-IBC members among viewers/ audience for enrolling themselves as life member of IBC for knowledge sharing through this bigger platform having experts from different field.  He also expressed the need of revisiting the norms for planning, designing and construction of smart cities in line with requirement of social distancing and health norms due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Shri K.K.Kapila, CMD, ICT and Past President, IBC also conveyed his good wishes to Shri O.P.Goel founder President on his 85th Birthday. He mentioned that besides being an outstanding professional, Shri Goel is also outstanding person as he has decided to donate henceforth his entire future pension towards charity. He appreciated the initiative of the President IBC in holding the webinar in this difficult time of COVID-19 and wished all success for the webinar.

Every speaker congratulated and conveyed their good wishes to Shri O.P.Goel, founder President on his 85th birthday and expressed their hope that he will continue to guide us in future also like previous years.

Shri Shalil Shrivastava, in his keynote address, mentioned about the infrastructure planned, designed and constructed in Nava Raipur smart Capital city. He informed that Nava Raipur is the India’s first smart Greenfield city of 21st Century and most of the gadgets provided in this smart city serve the requirement of social distancing and health norms /SOP of COVID-19. He mentioned that having done, roads, water supply lines, electric lines, recycled water lines, optical fibre communication net work etc, more than 30% area is green. The city is surrounded by 500mtr wide green belt. In the city, UMS, Smart governance, ITMS, City surveillance system, Smart network, data centre and IBMS system have been setup. About 250 CCTV cameras have been installed in the city besides 100 in bus shelters. Keeping in view the priority to Health response the systems have been adopted. All these systems, analyse the data, detects and gives alerts of crowd gatherings, congestion to maintain social distancing in public places. All services like, street lights, water supply lines are mapped on GIS where detection and monitoring of faults, leakage, quality & quantity of 24×7 water supply is automatic.  Remote monitoring of Building services through IBMS is being used.  Payment of utilities bills, building permission and other citizen centric services are web-based/ mobile app based. For office e-file management / movement system has been in practice. All these systems available in the Nava Raipur smart capital city are very much helpful in this COVID-19 times for maintaining social distancing to restrict spread of COVID-19.

He also mentioned that AI based thermal screening system to keep records of   movement of individuals on real time basis, GI based tracking & mapping solutions, GIS mapping of quarantine places are being used to monitor the individuals in hot spot areas. Mobility and access management system, issuing of bulk passes to the people with the help of ICT, tele consultation for patients with mobile testing laboratories have been set up where initial check of the patients is done without physically visiting doctor/hospital. Virtual class rooms and digital libraries have been set up which are accessible to all students, tutors and researchers etc.

Shri V.R.Bansal, Chief Engineer, North Delhi Municipal Corporation in his speech briefed about the health protection measures being carried out by MCD in its jurisdiction during COVID-19 pandemic. He also briefed about the history of Spanish flu, yellow fever etc. He further mentioned that in the light of new social distancing norms, the local bodies will have to consider revising the norms for planning & designing of cities and its buildings, like, open areas for allowing more natural light, wide segregated balconies, more plinth areas for residential accommodation, additional space in homes to accommodate work from home space requirement, increase in width of staircases, corridors, More fire floors in high rise buildings, more number of lifts, more parking areas in public buildings, increase in height of buildings, more ventilation by  discouraging central air conditioning, creating more negative pressure for cleaner air circulation in the buildings,  providing  hands free fixtures, fittings of doors & windows, faucets  & flushing of toilets etc. New anti microbial materials for construction will have to be thought of.

Shri Chetan Vaidya in his presentation briefed the viewers about more requirement of empowering local bodies, revision of urban housing and physical planning norms, re-orienting Architectural & Civil Engg., need of evidence based solutions, remodelling existing buildings, etc. in the light of social distancing norms as a health protection measures in this COVID-19 Times.

Shri Hitesh Vaidya, in his concluding speech while informing that more than 60% COVID-19 positive cases are in metropolitan cities stressed the need of revisiting the norms for planning & designing of  buildings, encouraging socialising through phones, creation of  more digital infrastructure to make most of the services contact free. He mentioned that to meet requirements of local public there is need to become vocal to use local knowledge & local product for local public. He expressed the need to adopt settlement & neighbourhood approach for local area plan, co-ordination between different agencies, use of technology, use of modern gadgets of decision making, interdependent urban & rural planning friendly approaches.

Shri O.P.Goel Founder President, IBC, in his address thanked everyone for their good wishes on his 85th birthday and wished that community, society and professionals will gain enormously from  the webinar.

At the end of webinar, the President, IBC thanked all speakers and everyone who joined the webinar.