Start adopting green building practices before it becomes mandatory says Principal Secretary UD

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Pune, 11th June 2024: “Start adopting green building practices before it becomes mandatory due to environmental practices”, said Aseem Kumar Gupta, Principal Secretary, Urban Development, Government of Maharashtra. He was speaking at the ‘Abhinandan’ program that was organized by the Pune Chapter of Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and CII at Hyatt Hotel on Nagar Road last week. Over 50 organizations that successfully got the IGBC ratings were awarded with the certification on the occasion.

During the program, Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation was honored with the Platinum Rating Certificate for IGBC existing green cities. The rating certificate was presented to Shekhar Singh, Commissioner of the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation at the hands of Aseem Kumar Gupta, Principal Secretary, Urban Development, Government of Maharashtra. PCMC has received this Platinum Rating in a record time of less than 12 months. PCMC has emerged as Maharashtra’s second urban local body to get such certification.

PMC scored 93 points out of 100 while getting this prestigious rating. Four Miyawaki Tree Plantation projects at environmentally degraded sites at Shahu Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, and Punawale with a total plantation of 7500 trees, solid waste to energy plant generating around 14 Megawatt every day and construction waste debris recycling plant to convert that into paver blocks, masonry blocks are some of PCMC’s initiatives that played an important role for getting this certification.

Industrialists Sanjay Kirloskar and Dr. Pradeep Bhargava along with the IGBC Team including Dr Poorva Keskar, J. P. Shroff, C Shekhar Reddy, Sandeep V, and Hrishikesh Manjrekar were present on the dais on the occasion.

Dr Poorva Keskar, Chair, IGBC Pune Chapter interviewed Aseem Kumar Gupta and Shekhar Singh during this program in a special session titled ‘Fireside Chat’. During this chat, Gupta addressed the demand for an increase in FSI for green buildings. Currently the increase in FSI is awarded on the basic FSI whereas the demand is to give this rise on the built-up area.

Gupta said, “Currently creating green buildings is optional and we are incentivizing it with an increase in FSI. When we think of awarding the further increase a lot of impact factors are required to be considered. However, I urge the construction industry to start adopting green practices irrespective of anything before it becomes mandatory due to the environmental factors.”

“As a citizen, I feel that small towns have still not got their due in terms of development. So far it has been found that in the small towns, the DP implementation has never been more than 7%. Entry of Artificial Intelligence in every sector is inevitable. So, rather than getting scared, the bureaucracy should embrace it. Computerization of procedures where discretion is less should be encouraged in governmental procedures like giving building permissions.” he added.

Gupta opined that while being in public administration, for better efficiency the IAS officers must listen to various opinions, must consider the economic impact of their decisions, and be fearful about their decisions since the correction process in governmental departments is slow and time-consuming.

Shekhar Singh in his answers to the questions asked by Dr. Poorva Keskar said, “Through the newly formed sustainability cell at PCMC we are trying to institutionalize the working of various ongoing projects. Many times some projects tend to take the front seat due to some reasons that affect the progress of other projects. So, we index every project that is being implemented or was implemented.”

“The creation of very less affordable housing in the city areas has created huge slums and has been the cause of many urban problems. In fact, the lack of good affordable housing is a failure of urban planning. Artificial Intelligence will play a key role in traffic management in areas like predictive congestion. AI is here to help and let’s not miss the AI Bus”, Singh asserted.

Hrishikesh Manjrekar in this presentation to the gathering about IGBC and its work informed that Pune is emerging as the potential green leader of India as Pune has the largest number of projects registered with IGBC for rating. Out of these about 60+ projects are from the industrial and logistics category, 235+ are from the residential projects category and 215+ are from the commercial buildings category. These are ranked 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the country when it comes to the registration with IGBC for following the green practices.

IGBC’s mission is to achieve Net Zero buildings by 2050 in all aspects like energy, water, waste and carbon. So far about 350 plus organizations in the country have committed to achieve Net Zero status for their new and existing buildings. CREDAI has signed a MoU with IGBC and has set the target to have at least 4000 projects with IGBC Green Building Ratings by the end of 2030.