Dholera Steps up to Defeat Kakinada as a Smart City

The phrase ‘Smart city’ reverberates in the ears again and again as this new vision of the Indian government has gained unprecedented momentum. Soon, the country shall be gloried with 100 smart cities, each of it shall be technologically sound and equipped with international standard infrastructure, elevated lifestyle and basic amenities such as sanitation, power and water supply.

However of all the cities, one that has gained exceptional popularity is the smart city of Dholera; India’s maiden smart city. In this article, let us draw a comparison between two small cities and observe which one fares well and emerges as a better city: Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh and Dholera, Gujarat.

Dholera is allocated in the Gulf of Khambhat in Ahmedabad district of Gujarat. Surrounded by water bodies on three fronts, the city had been envisioned as a smart city by Mr. Narendra Modi when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Dholera’s population is limited to a few thousands and its residents indulge mainly in agriculture and small businesses.

The city has not been developed on infrastructurefront which gives the architects and designers the freedom to construct it as per their imagination without any constraint leading it to be developed as a world class city. Another factor that works towards its advantage is the funding of Rs. 3,000 crore (appx) received from the government that has given a boost to the project causing initiation of trunk infrastructure development on 22.5 square kilometers of land, also known as activation area.

Besides, property in Dholera is currently undervalued which makes it a perfect investment option. With the potential of it being converted to a mega city and the focus that the city is receiving from government, manifold price appreciation in short term is a certain phenomenon. Another advantage that the city enjoys over other smart cities is the excellent connectivity that the region has with nearby cities as well as entire nation. The approval of Dholera international airport shall be instrumental in connecting Dholera to rest of the world and shall act as a catalyst in attracting foreign investments in the region.

Kakinada is the fourth most populous city of Andhra Pradesh (over 3,00,000 people) and a modern version of an erstwhile Dutch settlement. Spread over 30.51km2 the region is way smaller than Dholera SIR (920 km2) limiting its development scope likewise. However owing to the massive population, the city has seen much development on the infrastructure front which shall be a constraint for developers and architects , who shall have to mend their way while developing the city.

Kakinada has received an initial government funding of Rs, 100 crores (appx) spread over a five year termwhich is very small compared to that received by Dholera. Therefore the pace of development in Dholera shall be much faster resulting in better returns to investors.
As Kakinada is a land occupied by more than 3,00,000 people, the appreciation in land value over time is natural. The land here is more expensive as compared to Dholera . Therefore Dholera is a more preferred investment destination for real estate buyers.

Going by the factors mentioned above, it’s evident that Dholera shall emerge as a smarter city with better infrastructure and larger investment potential combined with an unparalleled development pace.

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Old Night Vision Meets New
smart city india
Image by NASA Goddard Photo and Video
NASA image acquired November 11-12, 2012.

On November 12, 2012, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite captured the top nighttime image of city, village, and highway lights near Delhi, India. For comparison, the lower image shows the same area one night earlier, as observed by the Operational Line Scan (OLS) system on a Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) spacecraft.

Since the 1960s, the U.S. Air Force has operated DMSP in order to observe clouds and other weather variables in key wavelengths of infrared and visible light. Since 1972, the DMSP satellites have included the Operational Linescan System (OLS), which gives weather forecasters some ability to see in the dark. It has been a highly successful sensor, but it is dependent on older technology with lower resolution than most scientists would like. And for many years, DMSP data were classified.

Through improved optics and “smart” sensing technology, the VIIRS “day-night band,” is ten to fifteen times better than the OLS system at resolving the relatively dim lights of human settlements and reflected moonlight. Each VIIRS pixel shows roughly 740 meters (0.46 miles) across, compared to the 3-kilometer footprint (1.86 miles) of DMSP. Beyond the resolution, the new sensor can detect dimmer light sources. And since the VIIRS measurements are fully calibrated (unlike DMSP), scientists now have the precision required to make quantitative measurements of clouds and other features.

“In contrast to the Operational Line Scan system, the imagery from the new day-night band is almost like a nearsighted person putting on glasses for the first time and looking at the Earth anew,” says Steve Miller, an atmospheric scientist at Colorado State University. “VIIRS has allowed us to bring this coarse, blurry view of night lights into clearer focus. Now we can see things in such great detail and at such high precision that we’re really talking about a new kind of measurement.”

Unlike a film camera that captures a photograph in one exposure, VIIRS produces an image by repeatedly scanning a scene and resolving it as millions of individual picture elements, or pixels. The day-night band goes a step further, determining on-the-fly whether to use its low, medium, or high-gain mode. If a pixel is very bright, a low-gain mode on the sensor prevents the pixel from over-saturating. If the pixel is dark, the signal will be amplified.

“On a hand-held camera, there’s a nighttime setting where the shutter will stay open much longer than it would under daylight imaging conditions,” says Chris Elvidge, who leads the Earth Observation Group at NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center. “The day-night band is similar. It increases the exposure time—the amount of time that it’s collecting photons for pixels.”

NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using Suomi NPP VIIRS and DMSP OLS data provided courtesy of Chris Elvidge (NOAA National Geophysical Data Center). Suomi NPP is the result of a partnership between NASA, NOAA, and the Department of Defense. Caption by Mike Carlowicz.

Instrument: Suomi NPP – VIIRS

Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Click here to view all of the Earth at Night 2012 images

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NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific

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