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Smart City Bhopal


The Bhopal Smart City project was initiated with the aim of transforming Bhopal, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh in India, into a technologically advanced and sustainable urban center. The project was part of the Indian government's Smart Cities Mission, which was launched in 2015 with the objective of developing 100 smart cities across the country. Smart Cities Mission envisions developing an area within the cities as a model area based on an area development plan, which is expected to have a rub off effect on other parts of the city, and nearby towns.

Cities were selected based on the Smart Cities challenge, where cities submitted their Smart City Proposal (SCP) in a countrywide competition to obtain the benefits from this mission. Bhopal was selected on 28th Jan 2016 in Phase 1 which comprised of the first 20 cities. A copy of the SCP proposal is available here.

Key Characteristics

Infrastructure Development. The project focuses on improving and modernizing the city's physical infrastructure, including transportation systems, water supply, sanitation, waste management, and electricity distribution. This involves the implementation of advanced technologies to optimize resource utilization and enhance efficiency.

Technology Integration. The project aims to leverage technology to enhance the quality of life for the residents of Bhopal. This includes the integration of smart systems and solutions in various sectors such as governance, healthcare, education, public safety, and citizen services. For example, implementing integrated central command and control (ICCC), smart grid systems for efficient energy management, deploying intelligent traffic management systems, and setting up e-governance platforms for better service delivery.

Sustainable Development. The Bhopal Smart City project emphasizes sustainable urban development. This involves installation of solar panels across lake bank, earmarking biking streets for shared biking, and effective waste management. This promotes green initiatives, energy efficiency and creates a more livable environment while reducing the city's carbon footprint.

Startup Incubation. B-Nest ( is the subsidiary of BSCDCL. In B-Nest young entrepreneurs are nurtured by providing them with mentorship, office space, workstation, and network connectivity. Bnest also helps startups understand Central government’s seed funding programs. Startups are selected through competition and hackathons.

Goals and Aspirations

E-Governance. Bhopal Integrated Control and Command Center (ICCC) aims to establish a collaborative framework where input from different functional municipal departments can be assimilated and analyzed on a single platform; consequently, resulting in aggregated city level information. This aggregated city level information can be converted to actionable intelligence, which would be propagated to relevant stakeholders and citizens. ICCC also selling their expertise to other departments. This year ICCC served Police Department in making their control center for $1 million. Also implemented $0.5 million data center for Excise department for effective tracking of liquor movement and tax collection opportunities. Housing. TT Nagar Smart City gave preference to horizontal expansion over vertical. 3000 Government houses were demolished to free the land and these houses were to be rebuilt with modern mid-rise infrastructure. Care will also be taken to provide shops to street vendors (even non-permanent) for maintaining their livelihood.

Infrastructure Development Road: 45 and 30-meter-wide roads with median containing plantation and all utility services (electricity, wireless, water – both drinking and sewage). No wire on the surface concept.

Solid Waste Management: Monitored through ICCC and integrated with national Swachh Bharat (Clean India) program. Biometric attendance of sanitation workers, Garbage collection trucks monitored with IOT based GPS tracker. 30 Garbage transfer stations built for intermediate waste collection from door-to-door small trucks to segregate and compact waste before sending for landfill. Stations also have RFID and weigh machine to calculate garbage quantity and trips at vehicle level.

Smart Lighting: It will be developed in PPP model with Bharti Infratel, 20,000 smart poles (12 meter high) will be installed over a period of 15 years. Bharti purchased the rights for ~US 6 million.

Mobility: Bike sharing (like City Bikes) Phase 1 for 500 bikes with 100 docking stations was started in VGF (Viability gap funding) format where city provided ~US 300K for Operating expense (Opex) management. Phase 2 started in PPP model for 1000 electric bikes with 200 docking stations.

Integrated Traffic Management System. ITMS is for adaptive traffic management, automatic e-challan (fines). It is financially self-sufficient as 75% of fine collection is given back to Smart City project. It got its first installment in 2022-23 financial year. This money is used for the operation and management of systems while improving traffic situation in the city. 69 out of 120 traffic junctions in city are integrated with ITMS. 34 locations have adaptive traffic control.

Technology Interventions

Cloud Computing. ICCC is implemented on ‘Common cloud’ for all 7 Madhya Pradesh based smart cities. The vendor is Tata Cloud and ICCC hosts all smart city applications. Current data capacity is 500 TB plus 500 TB as backup. Security, firewall, load balancer all mechanisms have been deployed. All 7 smart cities will have a local server room and data center. Data Ownership is solely with the government and city. Every RFP mentions this and states that data cannot be used without the government permission.

Only vendors empaneled by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY) are allowed to participate in smart city program. At the time smart city was conceived on 2016, AWS, Azure and Google Cloud were not MeiTY empaneled. AWS and Azure are now MeiTY empaneled.

Data Integration. Data from Integrated Traffic management, Waste Management, startup Incubator etc. is integrated through curated data pipelines to provide better real time reports and forecast bottlenecks.

Sustainability Technology. Smart poles, solar panel installation, city bikes and solid waste management ecosystem


Bhopal Smart City Development Corporation Limited. BSCDCL was incorporated as a special purpose vehicle (SPV), to plan, design, implement, coordinate, and monitor the smart city projects in Bhopal. BSCDCL is a company incorporated under Indian Companies Act 2013, with equal shareholding from Madhya Pradesh Urban Development Company Limited (MPUDCL) on behalf of Government of Madhya Pradesh (GoMP), and Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) (

Bhopal Municipal Corporation. BMC ( is responsible for the civic infrastructure and administration of the city of Bhopal. BMC administers an area of 463 km2 (250.29 sq mi). In August 2014, the corporation became one of India’s first municipal corporations to automate citizen services, working with SAP for the purpose.

Technology Vendors. Prominent technology vendors - Hewlett Packard is the system integration partner, Cisco the telephony partner, Ericsson and Bharti Infratel for Smart Pole and public WiFi, Tata Cloud for cloud data.

University Partners. 1) Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya (RGPV) is state university of Madhya Pradesh. It is a multi-campus affiliating, research university offering diploma, undergraduate, postgraduate, integrated, dual and doctoral courses in fields like engineering, technology, pharmacy, management, architecture, design and applied sciences. ( 2) Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT) is a public technical university which is part of a group of publicly funded institutions in India known as National Institutes of Technology. (


PK Jain. City Engineer (Project) Jitendra Singh Rathore. Assistant Engineer (IT)

Gaurav Trivedi. Ex- Consultant Government of MP

Project Category. All Smart City Projects are divided into two sections: Pan City Projects: Projects encompassing the whole city. Area Based Development (ABD): Projects in earmarked Smart city region, in case of Bhopal TT Nagar (342 Acres) was chosen for Area base development. Bhopal selected ‘Land Redevelopment’ as its ABD category.

Organization Structure. Bhopal created a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), Bhopal Smart City Development Corporation Limited (BSCDCL). BSCDCL is headed by a full-time CEO who is at the level of District Magistrate or Sub Divisional Magistrate. This is a rank of union civil service officer in Indian Administrative Services who is responsible for general administration of all aspects of governance and economy in a district ( CEO has the power to directly approve projects of up to ₹5 crore (US$630K). For more expensive projects it goes to the Board for approval.
Board of Directors (BOD) comprises of: Chairman who is District Collector of Bhopal, Executive Director who is Commissioner of Bhopal Municipal Corporation, CEO BSCDCL, Nominee Directors and Independent Directors. Nominee and Independent Directors are experienced officers from other government departments like town and country planning, Bhopal Development Authority, Finance etc.
The BOD does not have ‘political personas’ to avoid project delays due to political willingness issues. There is mechanism for city level advisory meetings with City Councilor, Mayor, Member of Parliament (Political head from Central Government), Member of Legislative Assembly (Political head from State Government) and prominent public society members to take their inputs and feedback on projects.

Stage of Completion. Interviews were essential in understanding the exact level of completion within various projects. It also brought up a few not very successful initiatives like e Health kiosks.


Financing Scheme. Centre and state government provided ₹1,000 crore (US$130 million) funding to the company, as equal contribution of ₹500 crore (US$63 million) each. The company must raise additional funds from the financial markets, predominantly appreciated Real Estate. After completing requisite housing and infrastructure, BSCDCL has 100 acres of developed land for sale. It has monetized 25 acres of the developed land (commercial and residential projects) for ₹700 crore (US$100 million), and more land monetization will be done in phases. Plots are also sold on a partnership basis with vendors.


Housing. Phase 1 and Phase 2 of this plan have been completed with 2600 houses built by May 2023. Rest 400 houses will be completed under ‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna’ ( by end of 2024. Total 423 shops constructed and provided to vendors who operated in TT Nagar area before its selection in Smart City project at a nominal price of 6 lacs.

Infrastructure. Smart Lighting: 150 smart poles out of 20,000 have been installed. 100 of these poles have integrated cameras. Smart poles also have air sensors, solar charging, and battery storage to provide wi-fi as a service platform (like LinkNYC).

Startup Incubation. Bnest holds more than 60 startups ( ranging from waste management, drone delivery, social media to transportation, few startups have also been funded. Help them in idea refinement and help gain seed funding from GOI.

Open Questions

Knowledge Sharing. System integration execution from HP had satisfactory hardware component but software development required BSCDCL team skill development for effective communication and implementation. Subsequent projects will grow in complexity more talent and retention efforts will be needed for smooth execution. A central repository of best practices, training and content will help in knowledge transfer.

High Impact Insights. With integration almost completed the next phase will require effective data analytics. Data scientists, ML engineers and AI experts will now be needed to derive high impact insights for the smart city.

Open questions 3. New projects and their project plan post state election in Dec 2023


Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

Case Study Geography

Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India