We have finally arrived to our home for the next 3 weeks, the Indian city of Allahabad. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t feel bad – most people have not. The city is in northeastenr part of India, the flight from Delhi takes less than 2 hours. It has a population of about 1.1 million which is not that big for India and is situated in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It has a very strong cultural and religious history, mostly because three rivers Yamuna, Ganges and invisible Saraswati meet here (now, we haven’t seen it yet so more about this later).
Our team consists of of 6 IBMers: myself – Michaela Santa Barbara (US), Richa Pandey (US), Colin Hall (UK), Tony Walter (Australia), Sachiko Yoshihama (Japan) and Mike Yesudas (US). Four countries, six IBM divisions – all working on one Smarter cities challenge with the city – on the topic of solid waste management. If you’ve ever been to India, you will recall that waste management is a huge infrastructure, sanitation and quality of life issue in many parts of the country. The larger Indian cities with reasonable infrastructure are making progress but the smaller municipalities are struggling with even the basic city services around waste management (think limited garbage collection, no sorting, open dumping, water contamination, etc.). We will try to expand on the real issues in latter posts as we start our discovery process.
Today, we spent all day getting briefed by the local IBM team on the government structure of India, the waste management challenges in general, IBM’s smarter cities agenda and some team building. We are about to start our Discovery week with a kick off tomorrow – so stay tuned!
(scroll over pictures for description)