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IoT At India’s Service to Fight Environment Issues

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Environment concerns in India are on the rise, so are the solutions for the same, thanks to Internet of Things (IoT) – the recent talk of the smart world. From reducing pollution and carbon footprint to enabling sustainable use of energy, young entrepreneurs have picked up IoT as their tool. While it is still at a nascent stage, IoT is soon expected to emerge as one of the dominant players in addressing environment concerns under Government of India’s ‘Go Green’ mission. Here are few innovators with their environment friendly solutions.

 Saving Lakes with IoT’s Help

Safeguarding lakes is one of the major environment related challenges the country is facing now and this Bengaluru based start-up has come up with an integrated solution for eco-restoration of contaminated urban water bodies using IoT.

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The solution includes an integrated bio-engineering application of floating garden or island made of natural fibres, biomass substrates and beneficial microbes. It also flaunts sustainable plants incorporated with decentralised solar aeration system for increasing oxygen level in the water body and LED lighting at night for aesthetic green ambience.

CS Pradeep Kumar, CEO and founder, Greentech Pvt. Ltd., said: “Daemon Software has developed the IoT based real time water quality monitoring system with temperature, pH, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and Dissolved Oxygen (DO) sensors. The data can be collected by mobile application or master computers for maintaining the water quality parameters via appropriate treatment systems.”

“Our IoT platform consists of four components including sensors for real time monitoring, a patented, secure communication framework, an application layer to process the collected data and the intervention and alerts required at post process state,” he added.

IoT offers a smarter use of energy and waste management

 With the help of a well-knit eco-structure including sensors, smart devices, Trusted Platform Modules (TPM) and LoRa devices and gateways, another company headquartered in Bengaluru has developed several IoT based solutions.

eMUDHRA’s smart building initiative works on IoT based solution leading to automation of various activities, enabling power, water and pollution control along with efficient use of resources. Its smart dustbins, an IoT driven software, connects all dustbins in the community to a centralized dashboard. This dashboard sends alerts and instructions to either empty the bins or study about areas requiring more bins.

V Srinivasan, chairman at eMUDHRA, said: “Apart from smart building and smart dustbin solutions, we are also working on IoT based smart manhole project that works with motion sensors identifying open man-holes posing a risk to people and environment. We are also dealing with IoT based smart waste management reducing landfills and smart traffic and smart street lighting conserving power.”

IoT can read your neigbourhood’s health

Imagine getting all real-time information about environment parameters like pollution level, rise or drop in temperature in your surroundings. This is exactly what a Bengaluru based start-up is working on at present. A decentralized environment monitoring system to soon provide real-time information about your surrounding environment.

“The hardware is going to be open source and works with both GSM/GPRS and WiFi. Our cloud will analyse the data and provide precautionary measures to the users. This is the best fit product for our homes, schools, colleges and workplaces. We can get to know in real time, how healthy the place is and what precautions need to be taken to make environment conditions better,” said Suraj Kumar Jana, founder of OpenCube Labs.

He added: “Connected devices for monitoring the environment around us is important for us. We need to know how the environment around us is changing and how we can fix the problems. As it is open source, it can also become a real time data base for government agencies and civic bodies to take precautionary measures accordingly.”

IoT green solutions to lead Indian market

Although not yet a leader, India will soon spearhead the global market for IoT based eco-friendly solutions. India’s rapid growth towards adopting IoT in environment safety can be clearly seen in the increasing number of Request for Proposals (RFP) for various smart city projects and schemes. Further, the government’s focus on using technology to solve various issues in the country including environment gives more prominence to implementing IoT.

The government’s planned investment of $1 billion for 100 smart city projects over the next 5 years is a hint about where the IoT industry stands at present and its future growth potential in India.

The number of IoT units out in the market is expected to reach 1.9 billion with a market size of $9 billion by 2020, shows Deloitte TMT predictions 2017. The size of the market for environment friendly IoT based solutions is expected to be $19.56 billion by 2021 with a CAGR of 7.7%, reveals a study conducted by MarketsandMarkets.

IoT paves way for cost effective eco-friendly solutions

With the rising population and high requirement of water and power to support extensive areas of cultivation and large number of industries, IoT can play an integral role in efficient management of natural resources cost effectively.

While environmental solutions require expensive monitoring processes and bodies, IoT based real-time sustainable solutions can be developed for monitoring and alerting the authorities at a reasonable rate. It can improve the governance process across all aspects of the environments.

Harnessing IoT eco-friendly solutions is not so easy

There are several challenges the IoT solution creators face that need to be addressed soon. Lack of a full-fledged narrow band IoT (NBIoT) connectivity in the country serves as a major setback for the creators.

Inadequate capital expenditure funding for these projects is another challenge. While private funds are still available, extensive and delayed government process bogs down the progress.

“There are several private companies in Bangalore willing to fund some of the IoT based lake rejuvenation projects. However, Bengaluru Bruhat Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) hardly has any clarity regarding such Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects for environment. This hinders the support from private companies as well,” said CS Pradeep Kumar.

Highlighting another challenge, V Srinivasan added: “Today the availability of local embedded devices, sensors, LoRA devices, chips and the requisite hardware is still at the early stages in India and there is an external dependency to fully enable a strong and secure IoT ecosystem. However, we expect this to change in the coming years as more awareness builds around IoT.”

Lack of security too is a major pain point for the players.

Government support for IoT is a must

Government’s support would help create the market for IoT and build a momentum for the same at the initial stages. Also, it would act as an incentive for IoT solution creators, opening up wide scope of opportunities for them. Further, such entrepreneurs can benefit from export and subsequently add to the country’s economy.

The government should also play an active role in spreading awareness about IoT based environment friendly solutions, displaying practical applications and justifying the policy makers about large scale implementation of these solutions for smart and green sustainable living space.



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