Born in the epicentre of the desi Silicon Plateau, Electronics City, India’s first industrial township with independent governing authority, is well on its way to becoming a Smart City. With over 902 acres, Electronics City is amongst the largest industrial parks of Bengaluru, and hosts the campuses of leading tech companies, along with a large number of small and medium sized ones.
Established as an electronic industrial complex in 1978 by the Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation Limited (KEONICS), it was for several years, managed by the Electronic City Industries Association (ELCIA). Over time, ELCIA has evolved as a unique organisation and has established three crucial entities that have distinct yet complementary roles in the development of the area: ELCITA, ELCIA Cluster and ELCIA Trust.
Tree-lined avenues and well maintained roads and pavements have transformed Electronics City.
Electronics City has been a trailblazer from its inception and its unique model of self-governance and collaboration is being emulated by other industrial townships to create Smart Townships.
A watershed moment for ELCIA came in 2013, when the Karnataka Government declared it an Industrial Township Area. The Electronics City Industrial Township Authority (ELCITA) was formed under the Karnataka Municipal Act, and it now carries out all the functions of an urban administrative division.
ELCITA uses a multi-pronged approach to administer the needs of its citizens that comprise 158 companies and impacts the lives of close to 2 lakh people. It is governed by a committee of members elected from member companies’ senior management and the state government’s nominees. Expert-led subcommittees guide and support activities such as estate management, sustainability, beautification, governance, smart city, town planning, culture and communication.
ELCIA Cluster was the first MSME Electronics Cluster in the state and was built with financial support from central and state governments. It focuses on skill development support for MSMEs and gives industries an opportunity to innovate new products at its common facility centre with state-of-the-art infrastructure. It provides mentorship, job fairs, trade fairs, volunteer and awareness programmes for women and CEO Forums. The ELCIA Trust, started 16 years ago, supports 4500 children in 20 government schools around the region.
ELCIA is committed to policy advocacy and government interactions and an example of its collaborative approach is the improvement of Hosur Road, the sole road that connects it to the rest of Bengaluru; it has worked with the government for construction of elevated road and Metro. ELCIA also facilitates training and skilling of personnel at various levels as required by member companies. It could soon become a training partner with the state government as a TPA representing 21 companies in an apprenticeship scheme.
ELCIA and ELCITA collaborate to bring in world-class infrastructure and business support to the community to ensure members thrive in their respective fields.
ELCITA aims at comprehensive development of the ecosystem by creating institutional, physical, social, and economic infrastructure. It collects property taxes, issues building licences and delivers all municipal services along with security and traffic management. It is responsible for construction of roads, drains, housekeeping, street lights, water distribution and waste management. It has set up a 300 KLD sewage treatment plant and along with rain water harvesting, through regular maintenance of water network, it has reduce leakage to less than 5%. e-Governance and e-Procurement ensure transparency and speedy approvals.
One of its functions is also ensuring security via a 4-layered protocol of CISF, state police, security personnel of companies and ELCITA personnel. It manages traffic in the area with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), Bangalore Metro and the Bengaluru Traffic Police. It is working with the Indian Institute of Science to create a scientific, tech-enabled traffic management strategy.
The Smart City pilot was started in 2016 to provide better governance and services to companies, and leading to improvement in the quality of life of ELCitizens. Its partners in this program include IISc, Wipro, Mindtree, PAQS, Bydesign, Tejas Network, Intel, Bosch and Siemens.
Together, ELCIA & ELCITA plan to meet future challenges through initiatives such as improved connectivity to the East Phase and to neighbouring villages, providing last mile employee transit from Metro stations, elevated walkways and shuttle services, 3D mapping of the township for planning, building approvals, tax collections; driving investments in manufacturing, co-creation of electronics products using the ELCIA Cluster; supporting companies with skilled manpower, development of a Biotechnology Park, a model Smart City and promotion of art and culture.
The coalition of ELCIA, ELCITA, ELCIA Cluster and ELCIA is a singular example of what can be achieved with innovative ideas and a collaborative approach, with the active participation of companies and ELCitizens who take pride in projects, promote innovative ideas and implement them. This unique model has earned Electronics City national and international appreciation.