The civic agency plans to replace 18,500 street-light poles in its areas with 'NextGen digital poles' which will be fitted with WiFi access points, LED bulbs and CCTV cameras which, it claimed, to be the first-of-its kind initiative in the world.

NDMC on Wednesday signed an MoU with Indus Towers Limited for the project before Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung at Raj Niwas here.

The estimated cost of the project, to be carried out on PPP mode, is Rs 220 crore which is likely to be fully commissioned within three years.

"On arriving at the IGI airport, a traveller wants to catch up with his messages and emails to connect with his family. Regrettably the half-an-hour journey from airport is full of bad signals and dropped calls. So, we envisaged a roadside based WiFi corridor for seamless connection of about 20-30 minutes of passengers journey till CP," NDMC Chairman Jalaj Srivastava told reporters here.

"NDMC jurisdiction begins from Moti Bagh to CP, our first effort was to focus on such corridor along Shanti Path, however, the idea grew. We realised that we can develop a city-wide free WiFi network using series of hotspots," he added.

The civic agency had earlier invited Expression of Interest (EOI) for establishment and maintenance of mesh WiFi network, however, later it asked the interested parties to assess the feasibility with an appropriate project mix, also to maximise its revenue.

NDMC then floated Request for Proposal (RFP) including comprehensive structure for CCTV, LED bulbs and WiFi street poles, offering them as telecom antennas on a rental.     

"Indus Towers was selected as it offered higher rentals, the second bidder being Reliance," Srivastava added.

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