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A Chariot in India Races Digitally to Accelerate Water Delivery in Smart Cities

By Arti Loftus February 13, 2018

SenRa, an IoT LoRaWAN service provider based in Delhi, India, and Chariot, an Indian-based start-up company have developed a water management solution designed to contribute to the advancement of the Government of India’s Smart City Mission, which is arguably the most ambitious continental initiatives of its kind worldwide.

 

Launched in 2015, this massive undertaking envisions the development of one hundred smart cities by 2020 to address the country’s rapid urbanization. Valued at around $7.5 billion, the mission takes a comprehensive view of how to intelligently and sustainably improve core infrastructure, including affordable urban housing, transportation, sanitation, health, public safety, the electricity and of course water supply.

India’s requirement for clean water, efficiently delivered for human consumption as well as crop irrigation, is urgent and tied to many of the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals including ending poverty in all its forms everywhere, ending hunger achieving food security and improved nutrition, promotion of sustainable agriculture, and ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation.

These two start-up companies in India have moved well beyond the concept phase and have successfully deployed what they claim to be India’s first advanced metering infrastructure, using ultrasonic water meters. Chariot is the IoT systems integrator and solution provider, while SenRa is a pan India LoRaWAN network for IoT and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications.

The companies have published a white paper in collaboration with the LoRa Alliance, the world largest open, non-profit association promoting low power radio access networking in distributed environments, explaining this network-as-a-service technology can be used to contribute to the acceleration of India’s Smart Cities Mission. (The white paper is available for download at www.senraco.com/index.php/smart-water).

“We are very proud of our recent accomplishments with our partner, Chariot,” Ali Hosseini, CEO of SenRa said. “There is nothing more meaningful than when the work we do and the resources we invest dramatically enhance the lives of millions – and eventually billions – of people.”

The solution includes Chariot’s analytical capabilities, which detect patterns in data streams from machines and sensors using LoRaWAN (a communication protocol that transports encrypted secure data with very low power consumption and long range which can go up to 10 - 12 Kms in rural areas; it works on unlicensed spectrum).

“This solution will help India’s utility companies to manage their non-revenue water and daily consumption pattern through an analytics platform, while allowing the end users to manage their daily usage along with leakage detection and bill payments,” said Nilay Mehrotra

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Chariot.  “We worked through many challenges in our first year, and several iterations as LoRaWAN is a very new technology and are very pleased to be partnering now with SenRa, a leader in the LoRa space.”

Chariot offers platform as a service (PaaS) on a subscription basis and its fee depends on the number of uplinks/downlinks and the level of analytics the user wishes to subscribe to. The products and solutions pipeline include this smart water supply solution, as well as a smart parking and smart gas supply solution.

India is now a rapidly growing market for IoT solutions. According to Deloitte’s TMT Predictions 2017, the market size in this area is expected to increase about seven times—from $1.3 billion last year to $9 billion by 2020.

Companies including Tata Communications have stepped up and invested (in Tata’s case, $100M has been pledged and dozens of smart cities have been lit up).

“Cities are now able to leverage smart infrastructure and smart utilities to have better insight on their water consumption and water distribution methods, Hosseini continued. “With smart governance, citizens will be able to live smarter and happier knowing their water issues are being addressed, and we couldn’t be prouder to work with Chariot and the LoRa Alliance to move India towards its noble goals faster.” 

In the context of India’s population growth and urbanization the Smart City Mission is not only timely, but essential. The country’s population is set to surpass China’s by 2024 and reach 1.5 billion by 2030. Over forty percent of this number will live in concentrated urban areas (thirty percent of India’s population lives in those areas today).

India's massive cities are already faltering under the population growth pressure, and without planning ahead, chaos could become uncontrollable.

“Demographic changes to the city are far more caustic and lethal than those that meet the eye. Cities must plan for an India on the move or end up as slums,” Delhi-based architect Gautam Bhatia said last year in an interview published in The Times of India.

SenRa will be exhibiting at the Mobile World Congress (www.mobileworldcongress.com) from February 27th - March 1st in Barcelona at the LoRa Alliance Pavilion (Hall 8.0, Stand D3) where they will be showcasing this case study with the Senet, a provider of secure, public, Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWAN) and Managed Network Services for Internet of Things (IoT) applications supporting the LoRaWAN protocol.

A live demonstration of this solution from Chariot and SenRa is also being shown at the IoT India Expo (www.iotindiaexpo.com) from March 7th - 9th at Delhi’s Pragati Maidan.  


Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Special Correspondent

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