Reliance Infrastructure to give face-lift to 'Smart BKC' project

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has awarded Reliance Infrastructure over Larsen and Toubro (L &T) the contract to convert central business district of Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) into 'Smart BKC' project.

"The project has been awarded to Reliance Infrastructure as its bid was lowest than Larsen and Toubro (L &T). The project implementation would start in next 6-8 months, once we get formal approval from executive committee," said a source from MMRDA.

The sources told this newspaper that Reliance Infrastructure had quoted Rs 75 crore and L&T had quoted Rs 107 crore.

BKC will be made WiFi enabled as a part of MMRDA'S 'Smart BKC' project. People would be able to use WiFi free for 30 minutes. As a part of smart BKC project, there would also be smart street lights, CCTV camera surveillance, mobile application based address finder and many other new facilities.

The main reason why MMRDA wants to turn BKC to a smart city is because it is already a commercial hub and it was developed to create a state-of-an art financial and business hub. The basic motive behind the creation of BKC was to de-centralise the hub like South Mumbai' Nariman Point.

Due to its close proximity to the international and domestic airport from both Eastern and Western Express Highway, the BKC has been growing as a most popular destination among national and international companies for setting up their offices which is why it is also known as the central business district of Mumbai. The better quality of roads in the complex ensure faster commute and so a number of big corporate houses and even the consulate offices are now shifting to the complex.

"Taking a clue from this expansion and growing importance of the new commercial hub which is shaping up in BKC, the concept of 'Smart BKC' was introduced by MMRDA in the complex. This would include harnessing the role of information and communications technologies in the district to transform the hub into 'tech savvy' and modern business district. Our vision of smart BKC is in line with government’s initiatives of smart cities," said a senior MMRDA official.

As per the plan these are initiatives that will be implemented while implementing the smart BKC project which includes.

1) Providing WiFi: The entire BKC area will be made WiFi enabled and so the people coming to the central business district will be able to use the services free of cost for first half an hour.

2) Smart Parking: The parking in BKC has been one of the important issue and so as per the plans the motorists or people coming to BKC will be able to get a real time information about the status of 2,844 parking spaces that are operational at 12 locations in BKC. The person would get information about the same on the smart BKC portal and the mobile application that would be designed.

3) Citizens application: A citizens application related to BKC would be designed which would help people coming to BKC to get information about the hotels, offices and various places in BKC. The mobile application based address finder would help the people in reaching the right address and people would save a lot of time.

4) Integrated Building Monitoring System: The above system will help in monitoring the amount of water and electricity consumption of every building and through a central command center, the ways to save electricity and water would also be discussed.

5) Smart street lights and CCTV Camera: At present there are 815 electricity poles in BKC which have over 1,300 sodium vapour light. Through a system, the amount of light that each lamp emits would be adjusted as per the atmosphere and this would help in saving a lot of electricity. Over 150 high definition CCTV cameras would be installed in BKC to keep a tab on each and every movement thus making it more safer. The cameras would be connected to the main police control room of Mumbai. The information of any accidents or emergency would be forwarded to the nearest police station and government hospital.

6) Electric Hybrid buses: As a part of the smart BKC project MMRDA would have 25 electric buses in a bid to ease commuting woes in BKC. The buses will be provided at a cost of Rs.53 crore by the lowest bidder M/s.Tata Motors Pvt.Ltd. "The Complex has been the centre of attention for a number of activities and the demand for bus service was echoing for some time and has also been seconded by the BKC Plot Owners’ Association. The provision of bus service is also a part of Smart BKC Project," said an MMRDA official

BKC and the area
The two prominent blocks- the 170 Ha G block and 25 Ha E block together have approximately 6.4 lakh employees in various establishments. At present the available office space is also 6.40 lakh sq meters. There is quite a bit of open space commonly known as MMRDA grounds which is MMRDA's land bank.

It should be noted that the complex also has staff quarters, clubs, 5 star hotels, convention complex, hospitals apart from offices, houses and a number of financial and business houses including National Stock Exchange, SEBI and various national private banks, schools, Mumbai Cricket Association's cricket ground and the Consulates of United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia and France.

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