Odisha: Student groups present innovative city changing ideas for smart urban living

Bhubaneswar: Can a chilli powder bangle save a girl or woman from anti-socials in case of any attack? Would planting of more peepal trees provide better-oxygenated air for the city, especially in the Smart Janpath Project to provide quality environment for the public? How can we use cyano bacteria to manage waste water in the city?
Like these innovative and Smart ideas, many more as 3-D models were presented by nearly 130 students from 11 different educational institutions at IDCO auditorium to make the city better as a Youth Connect programme under the City Changer Lab Initiative yesterday. This day-long programme was held after a series of City Changer Labs at different institutions across the city the past. Best two entries from each institute took part during yesterday’s event.
The students displayed various projects on solid waste management, safety and security of girls/women, protection of senior citizens, traffic management, alternative energy sources, automated street lights, and vending machine for sanitary napkins, peepal plantations, talking dustbins, treatment of waste water and bridging the digital divide.
Students from KIIT, SOA and Centurion Universities, CET Engineering College, Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology, CV Raman Engineering College, DAV Management Institute, Srusti Academy and Astha School of Management.
The event was part of a competition run by Bhubaneswar Smart City Ltd and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation in collaboration with UNFPA India. Named as City Changer Lab, this competition invited each of the institutions to present two innovative ideas for better urban living in the city. While many ideas caught the attention of panellists, some interesting discussions included:
Safety and security of girls/women: Concept of specially designed red chilli bangles and lipstick-shaped chilli sticks, devices that would immediately send message when a girl is in distress, motivating hoteliers to have soap with messages on trafficking and helpline number to enable girls who are being trafficked to seek help etc. A presentation on installation of sanitary vending machines in ladies toilets also attracted attention.
Solid waste management: Concept of glowing bins to enable citizens to use bin even during evening hours, using cyano bacteria for waste water management, mobile application to enable citizens to identify areas needing immediate cleaning. Another interesting demonstration was on Smart Dustbins which automatically compresses the solid waste in order to make space for more waste to be collected and also sends an alter to the authorities when the bin gets full.
Digital divide: Setting up of kiosk to help bridge digital divide and the same would be accessible by all including blind and illiterate people.
A group also presented an idea of underwater sensors in drains that would help BMC to identify the areas of blockage of drain water during heavy rains.
The program was organised to enable the students to share their ideas/proposals to improve urban living. A total of 35 proposals were received from 11 educational institutes and universities. The students were accompanied by their nodal officers. The panel members, on the other hand, comprised Dr Kapileswar Mishra, Principal CIPET, City Engineer Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation Dawipayan Pattanaik, BMC Zonal Deputy Commissioner Binay Kumar Dash, Assistant City Healthy Officer A. Dhumaal and two officers from IBI Group.

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