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iceconnect.eletsonline.com VOLUME 01  n ISSUE 03  n  June 2014

The

Green cities

for better tomorrow All-round pollution, shrinking water table, depleting energy resources - all call for construction of eco-cities

A visible uptrend in real estate sector gives construction equipment industry a reason to smile

Equipment

that shape infrastructure


Contents

JUNE 2014 issue 2 | volume 03

Sustainable development is responsible development, writes Mala Singh, CMD, PEC Solutions Green Designs Pvt Ltd

A ‘green’ crusader Pune looks up to Mayor Chanchala Kodre

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Roads to drive demand in Indian CE sector, says Case MD Abhijit Gupta

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Equipment that Shape up Infrastructure

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Real estate hits spring board

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Caught in a jam Poor state of public transport infrastructure leaves tailbacks in cities

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further reading 5 Editorial 26 company profile 54 Tech talk 56 power talk

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from the editor

Going green

to beat the blues

U

nprecedented urbanisation that India has been a witness to over the last a few decades has brought along some never-before infrastructure-related challenges to the cities, with urban housing problem being just one of the several. The picture of people packed in city slums under unhygienic conditions amply reflects on the inadequate housing infrastructure to support the burgeoning urban populace that continues to swell with every passing day.

In such a scenario, having a government that talks of focussing on the need to erect more and more urban infrastructure, and creating ‘100 Smart Cities’ and ‘Twin Cities’ to accommodate the continuous inflow of people from far-flung areas looks nothing short of a godsend piece of luck. And, given the track record of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, one feels inclined to believe that the end to most of the urban woes could be just round the corner. So, fingers crossed there. Treating the need to raise and upgrade infrastructure with utmost sincerity, we dedicate the current issue of The ICE Connect to the Construction Equipment industry, and the shapers and promoters of the Green Cities concept: while the CE industry supplies us with the high-end machinery to shape the city infrastructure, the creators of Green Cities help make that development sustainable and urban space a better place to live in. As an offshoot of the urge to see a more liveable planet and to stress on the need for optimum use of the fast depleting natural resources, we felt impelled to come up with an occasion like “The Green Cities Forum 2014”. Conservation of available resources – so that something is left for the future generations as well – requires sustainable construction solutions, wherein eco-friendliness is the cornerstone of all developmental activities. The Forum is part of our effort to provide a meaningful platform to the distinct array of experts involved in the Green Building movement and out there with a commitment to change the face of construction in the country. In a recent speech, when PM Modi said urbanization should not be treated as a problem, but an opportunity to create more and more infrastructure, he probably also hinted at the employment generation potential of such an exercise, to take the nation on the path of growth and prosperity. Let’s wish, pray and contribute towards realization of his vision.

ravi guptA Editor-in-Chief Ravi.Gupta@elets.in

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The

I C E CO ECT Connecting Technologies,Trends & Business

Infrastructure Construction Engineering

Editorial Team ICE CONNECT & GOVERNANCE Sr. Assistant Editor: Nirmal Anshu Ranjan Assistant editor : Rachita Jha Sr Correspondent : Kartik Sharma, Nayana Singh Souvik Goswami Mohd Ujaley Sr Copy Editor : Rajesh Sharma Correspondent : Veena Kurup Research Associate : Sunil Kumar

EDUCATION Sr. Correspondent : Ankush Kumar Correspondent: Seema Gupta

HEALTH Sr. Assistant Editor : Shahid Akhter Correspondent : Ekta Srivastava

june 2014 volume 01 | issue 03

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Dr M P Narayanan Editor-in-Chief

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Only when the last tree has been cut down, Only when the last river has been poisoned, Only when the last fish has been caught, We will find that money cannot be eaten. A contemporary poet, Lester Brown, chose to describe the reckless consumption of natural resources in those words, while another piece of wisdom said, “We are living on this planet as if we had another one to go to.� As the natural resources dry up and human activities threaten to destroy the climate beyond redemption, we need to bear in mind that nature does provide free lunch, but only if we can control our appetite. We inherited the earth from our ancestors, and it is obligatory on our part to preserve it for our children. We, therefore, dedicate the Green Cities section to the cause of environment conservation.

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Green Cities

‘Sustainable development is responsible development’

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t is widely accepted today that human activities are contributing to the phenomenon of Climate Change, which is evident across the world. Scientific evidences suggest that it is a causal factor in rising sea levels, increased occurrence of severe weather events, food shortages, hanging patterns of disease, severe water shortages and the loss of tropical forests. Most experts agree that over the next few decades, the world will undergo potentially dangerous changes in climate, which will have a significant impact on almost every aspect of our environment, economy and society. Hence, Responsible Development is a must to save our Mother Earth.

Energy guzzler

Among different sectors, Construction Sector is one which is utilizing the resources at a fast pace, thus causing a great impact on the environment. A major portion of the global energy use is attributed to the building sector, so there is a close link between energy consumption in buildings and climate change. Conventional methods of designing buildings and construction practices are not only consuming the natural resources but are also responsible for their contribution to the problems like greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water pollution, water shortage, excess waste generation and other associated impacts on health and environment. It is estimated that at present, buildings designed conventionally without considering sustainable approach produce as much as a third of the total global GHG emissions, primarily due to the use of fossil fuels in their operational phase. Given the massive boom in the construction sector over the recent decades and the inadequacies in existing buildings, if nothing is done, the GHG emissions from buildings in India

is likely to be more than double in the next 20 years. Therefore, if targets for GHG emissions reduction are to be met, it is clear that the decision-makers will have to tackle emissions in the building sector. In fact, the mitigation of GHG emissions from buildings must be made the cornerstone of the India’s climate change strategy. In this backdrop, green building design approach presents itself as the most feasible solution.

Individual initiatives

Mala Singh, green entrepreneur and CMD, PEC Solutions Green Designs Pvt Ltd, outlines the potentials of an effective Green Building approach for transforming the existing and future communities into sustainable communities

Mala Singh

Green entrepreneur and CMD PEC Solutions Green Designs Pvt Ltd

However, since no format has been prescribed by the Indian Government for green buildings development as of today, the only option remains the personal initiatives of passionate developers, who really wish to contribute their bit to conserve natural resources for saving the Mother Earth. Hence, only Responsible Developers can lead the Nation towards sustainable development and growth. According to me, a “responsible developer” is a passionate business leader with innovative mindset, who believes in transformation and shows inclination for using sustainable strategies and new technologies to improve the quality of life and also believes in growing sustainably with the community.

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Responsible developers can play a vital role in promoting sustainable development by incorporating sustainable strategies in their project development itself and reap the benefits of energy and water bill cost savings for themselves as well as for the residents. Besides direct savings, there are also intangible benefits to the Nation itself through conservation of the valuable natural resources.

Ratings as incentive

To promote Green Development in our country, Indian Green Building Council (IGBC - CII) and GRIHA are the two agencies, which have helped developers transform development footprint to Green. According to the IGBC, a building “which uses less water, optimizes energy efficiency, conserves the natural resources, generates less waste and provides healthier spaces for occupants as compared to a conventional building” is’a Green Building. Basically, the concept behind green buildings is the rediscovery of Indian ethos or “panchabhutas”, i.e. the five elements of the nature – Prithvi, Jal, Agni, Vayu and Aakash. Although both types of buildings – conventional and green – look alike from outside, in terms of operation, green buildings perform better to achieve more cost savings in energy and water consumption. The Green Building Council rating systems are applicable for various categories differently like Green Homes, Commercial (Core & Shell, New Construction) Green Township rating, Existing Buildings, Green School & Green Landscape rating etc. Green buildings incorporate various green features like sustainable site planning, efficient water management techniques, energy-efficient design and fixtures, use of green energy sources, effective resource usage, proper waste management, indoor environment quality management, etc.

All those assure the healthiest possible environment, being created with minimum disruption to nature. Formation of a truly green and sustainable building is practically possible only if all sustainability parameters become an integral part of design planning through expert advisory and monitored till commissioning of the project. Accredited green and sustainability consultant companies can help achieve the goal of raising a Green building.

Basic elements

Under sustainable site planning, measures are taken to preserve and improve green spaces by integrating various technologies like green roofs, green walls, natural landscape, etc. Effective Storm Water Management is an integral part of green building design to minimize rainwater runoffs. Grass pavers, vegetative surfaces or reflective materials are given more importance to reduce heat gain, so that the micro climatic temperature can be maintained. In green building construction, better Health and safety management practices are given due importance. Measures like rain water harvesting, use of water efficient fixtures, use of sewage treatment plant for treating gray water, recycling and reuse of treated water to reduce potable water use, etc., will help achieve water efficiency which is reflected as savings seen in water bills. Also, water conservation measures will add to our contribution as a responsible citizen to preserve the precious commodity. While planning energy-efficient measures, optimizing building siting and design is a major component for building green which helps assure minimal solar heat gain through measures like passive solar orientation strategies, building massing, use of external shading devices, intelligent use of glass, effective insulation materials etc. Use of 3 star or 5 star-rated air conditioning systems, efficient lighting design, efficient fixtures like LED or CFL, use of clean energy sources like solar, wind energy, etc., help in reducing overall energy consumption and reducing GHG emissions indirectly by reducing the demand for conventional sources of energy. Final gain to the building occupant is reduction in electricity bills. In Green buildings, HCFC/ CFC free electrical equipment and low VOC chemical paints and indoor plants help maintain indoor environmental quality in the buildings, which improves the health and overall quality of life of the building occupants. In green buildings, an effective waste management strategy by using 3R principle – Reduce-Reuse-Recycle is very beneficial to the building occupants as well as to the rest of the community. So, the green building approach in individual buildings, residential complexes, townships or any other commercial/ retail spaces will help transform our existing and future communities into sustainable communities. n

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Green Cities Personality

As the First Citizen of the Pune, Mayor Chanchala Kodre has taken upon herself the task to ensure with all her zeal and might – that environment conservation becomes integral to city’s development

Chanchala Kodre Mayor, Pune

A ‘green’ crusader Pune looks up to ICE Connect / iceconnect.eletsonline.com / June 2014

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green city makes a healthy city, and Pune Mayor Chanchala Kodre seems to be living that belief day in and day out. Banking on an army of young environment enthusiasts, she has set before herself the task to make the city greener and friendlier to the environment.

“As citizens, we should be aware of the ways of conserving energy. It is also important to create this awareness amongst the youngsters,” says Kodre. She has been striving hard to raise a strong, dynamic and pro-active Green Brigade by connecting the students’ community to the city’s ecosystem. “The future of our nation lies in the hands of the youth. They need to be motivated in the right direction and introduced to the issues faced by the city before they can lead the nation,” she adds.

���Let’s Discuss 2014’

The Pune Mayor, who seems to be living and breathing environment conservation, says a city can be kept green not through stringent laws, but through the will and impelling desire among the citizens to make a better city. Taking this message forward, Mayor Kodre has initiated a programme, named “Let’s Discuss 2014”. Under the programme, eminent people from different walks of life address the students and discuss issues of conservation of environment, traffic issues, city hygiene and role of people’s representatives, among others. Some of the major activities included awareness drive on issues of solid

A citizens’ call “A city can be kept green not through

stringent laws, but through the will and impelling desire among the citizens to make a better city”

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waste management, rain water harvesting and securing green spaces.

Zero-garbage city

Garbage has been a perennial problem in Pune and crisis for the city’s municipal corporation. To address the issue, the Mayor started a drive against the use of plastics for the promotion of zero-garbage concept, along with effective waste management, through public awareness programmes. The drive is underway and has received an encouraging response. She has ensured that effective results are achieved through personal visits to close to 50 public places in various localities across the city, including big slums and cooperative societies to push this drive. “The initial response had not been very positive, since people view these campaigns as part of a political agenda. When I talk to people and show them that entire campaign is out of my responsibility as the First Citizen of the city, then people start throwing queries. However, on being convinced, they also join the campaign,” says Kodre. Regular march of youngsters were organised following each visit to further the cause. The campaign began with around 300 youngsters from various colleges. Encouraged by the response, she has now decided to organize a larger gathering for the march with 7,0008,000 college students, where they will take an oath against the use of plastic alongside aiming for zero garbage in their surroundings. “Where there’s will, there’s a way” is an age-old adage, which seems proving true yet again in case of Mayor Kodre. n


Green Cities

Waterfronts minus backyard water

Time is fast running out and we can no longer continue to ignore India’s river systems crying for our attention, warns R A Rajeev, Principal Secretary, Environment, Government of Maharashtra

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he modern world is known for rapid urbanisation of its population over the 20th century. As per a UN World Urbanization Prospects report, the global proportion of urban population rose dramatically from 13 percent (220 million) in 1900 to 29 percent (732 million) in 1950 to 49 percent (3.2 billion) in 2005. The report projected that the figure is likely to rise to 60 percent (4.9 billion) by 2030. Cities have become main centres of economic, industrial and social activities of majority of human population. Sustainable development of cities is, thus, critical to the development of people and, in turn, the nations.

Global Waterscapes

Great ancient civilisations of the world are known to have developed and prospered along either rivers or sea shores. They are known to revere the waterbodies and have depended largely on them for their trade or day-today livelihood. Even today, great cities are situated either on coasts or along a river. Sydney, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Cape Town, Barcelona or Rio are all on the coast side; whereas London (Thames), Berlin (Elbe), Rome (Tiber), Glasgow (Clyde) and Amsterdam (Amstel) are by the side of famous rivers. New York has both as it is situated at the mouth of river Hudson. These cities have managed their waterfronts very nicely, have created public spaces by the bank and have managed to bring people towards the waterfront to either have a nice walk or cycle or jog. As people living in these cities started to value these public spaces and assets of their cities, it also helped keep the waterbodies clean and pollution free. Paris is another city which is best endowed with river banks. For years together it ignored its great asset and turned its back on the lifeblood flowing through it. However, things are changing now as Paris celebrates ‘les Berges de Seine’, and reacquaints itself with the banks of its river. They call it time ‘to change your view’ about the Parisian connection with its waterways. The ‘Berges de Paris’ project aims at transforming the waterfront. They are creating new bike trails, new two-km-long pedestrian walkway, new floating gardens, a new pedestrian bridge and a Rollerblade trail.

R A Rajeev, Principal Secretary Environment, Government of Maharashtra

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In Amsterdam, this year is the 400th anniversary of the Canal Ring, the semicircle of concentric waterways that allowed the Dutch capital to expand gracefully into its golden age. St Petersburg, in Russia, is another great example of grand architecture getting developed on a network of canals. Peter the Great turned a swamp in northwest Russia into the most glittering city in Europe. The marshland was drained through a network of canals. The Singapore River along with Kallang River was highly polluted due to population growth, rapid urbanisation, industrial development and uncontrolled discharge of garbage and polluted waste water. By 1960s, these rivers were essentially sewers and extremely polluted. In February 1977, then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew said, “It should be a way of life to keep the water clean, to

Water bodies as lifeline Stories about the restoration of various water bodies across the globe have also been the stories of boost in the prospects of cities along their banks and people and transport and trade… keep every stream, every culvert, every rivulet free from unnecessary pollution. In 10 years, let us have fishing in the Singapore River and fishing in the Kallang River. It can be done.” The master plan for river clean-up was drawn, executed and completed in 1987 under the leadership of Permanent Secretary of Environment, Lee Ek Tieng, who later became the Head of the Civil Service in Singapore. He and his nine other team members were awarded gold medal by the Prime Minister for the efforts they had taken in cleaning up the river. Singapore’s example proves what a deep political commitment, clear vision and effective implementation by a dedicated team can achieve in a short span of time. Chicago, the birthplace of the skyscraper celebrates the eponymous river with one of the most unusual city tours anywhere. The architects of Chicago Architecture Foundation, working as guides, offer fresh perspective on the soaring architecture of Chicago. Glasgow is the latest example of a city which is on its way to reinvent-


Green Cities

Where there’s a will‌ Singapore’s example of cleaning two badly polluted rivers goes on to prove what a deep political commitment, clear vision and effective implementation by a dedicated team can achieve

ing its relationship with its waterfront. The shipbuilders of the Clyde River created the vessels that helped the British Empire transform the world. However, later history has been a history of decline. Of late, the city has started revitalising its riverfront by creating bike trails, pedestrian walkways and pedestrian bridges. The developments like the Glasgow Science Centre and the Riverside Museum have added great attractions to people to get drawn towards the riverfront.

Indian Riversides - Neglected

In India, almost all famous and lively cities are either by riverside or seaside. Delhi and Agra (Yamuna), Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi and Patna (the Ganges) are fine examples of old cities which developed and prospered in the past by riversides. They have been great tourist attractions for the history they possess. However, everywhere the rivers have got highly polluted by the liquid and solid wastes, which people discharge daily in these rivers. No more the waterfronts have remained serene and beautiful. One cannot have a nice walk or spend time by their side as people use them as dustbins and toilets. Everywhere the authorities have failed in either maintaining or creating public spaces by their sides. As a result people have turned their back towards these waterfronts, which at

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one point of time were their main attractions. The twin cities of Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad have been neglecting their riverfronts and uncontrolled developments are taking place at a faster pace. The same is the case with Mumbai, which is situated by seashore. Mumbai, still known for its Marine Drive developed during British period, has not been able to maintain its seafront pollution free. A typical smell of Mumbai, which every new visitor feels and to which every ‘Mumbaikar’ is immune to, is the smell of seawater mixed with sewage. The city has not been able to treat even one per cent of its sewage to the secondary and tertiary levels when it could be released in sea water. Slums situated on the shore line aggravate the problem even more. The Mithi River at present is nothing better than a sewer flowing through it. Other cities in MMR also are situated by sea or creek or riversides. All these waterbodies are either being neglected or encroached upon or being used to release industrial effluents and sewage water and wastes in them. If we take up pollution-free waterfront development on priority, most of our problems related to environment including coastal zone violations, encroachments, lack of public spaces and inefficient use of land can be efficiently handled. It can also improve the quality

of life of common citizens drastically. Ahmedabad is another excellent example of how the city has rediscovered its relationship with the Sabarmati River. The city has not only been able to develop the waterfront and create public spaces around its bank, but also has been able to recover all its cost towards this infrastructure development by monetising the land bank, which it has reclaimed in the process. It is one of the best examples of sustainable urban renewal initiatives.

Time to Act Now

Time is fast running out for cities in our country as their population pressure is increasing day by day, as a result of which open spaces are getting encroached upon. No more we can keep our back towards these waterfronts. Increasing pollution of water bodies is not only a danger to the aquatic life inside it but also to the quality of life of people living around those. There is an urgent need for all stakeholders of these cities – be it policy makers or urban planners, city managers or citizens – to forget their differences and come together to redefine their relationship with the waterfronts and turn our attention towards these waterfronts which are sources of vitality and life. n

Reviving the ties Ahmedabad is another excellent example of how the city has rediscovered its relationship with the Sabarmati River. It is one of the best examples of sustainable urban renewal initiatives

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Green Cities

Moving firm on the path of innovation and technology upgradation, Sunny Singh, MD, Singh Construction Equipments & Machinery Pvt Ltd, tells Veena Kurup, of ENN that energy-efficient products are getting prominence in the construction industry

‘Energy-efficient CE products catching up’ Infrastructure sector is a crucial revenue driver for the Construction Equipment (CE) sector. What is your outlook about the CE sector and the technical trends being seen in India? Infrastructure is the backbone of the CE sector. Although the sector is currently witnessing a downtrend, in view of the formation of the new government, we expect the scenario to improve soon and the sector to touch new highs in the coming years. We are focusing on expanding our reach with a hope that the policies of the Modi Government will give a boost to infrastructure development. The past year has been challenging, and India has witnessed a big downtrend in the sector, which has indeed hampered the CE segment in a big way. The competition has led to a scenario where it is the survival of the fittest; the ones with new technologies and competitive pricing will rise above the competition.

How do you meet the challenges of delivering quality products at attractive prices and sustaining the competition? Is it because of your energy efficiency initiatives? The current market scenario in India is extremely price sensitive and competition is fierce. However, we are geared up for this market condition with our well-equipped design team and a skilled workforce, and we are confident to deliver quality products at reasonable prices. Ensuring energy efficiency is

Sunny Singh, MD Singh Construction  Equipments & Machinery Pvt Ltd

one of the prime focuses in our company during both selection of equipment and designing of our products. All our products come with EFF2 type motors, which are the latest technologies available today. And, whenever we have specific demands from clients, we accommodate and supply special features in our panels to make our machines more energy efficient.

Which of your products do you think are the major revenue drivers for your business operations? Also share your plans, if any, on product addition or business expansion this fiscal. We have a wide range of products in our portfolio, and cater to a large number of clients from diverse segments, including contractors, builders and infrastructure developers, among others. The market has shown similar results for us across all sectors, and therefore, for us no one product can be said to be driving the revenue; they all contribute in equal measures. And yes, we have expansion plans on the cards in terms of product offerings, and we are adding six new products to our current product range. Our new products will, most probably, be displayed at the CE show, BC INDIA 2014. n

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Green Cities

‘Gujarat leading by example’ What initiatives have you taken to keep up with the prevailing trend towards ecobuildings and structures? We began our journey with eco-friendly infrastructure constructions to spread the message of energy efficiency and green buildings. As they say charity begins at home, we first applied the green building concept in the construction of our own office in Gandhinagar. And today, it stands tall as a winner of the acclaimed Gold Rating for innovative initiatives in saving and generating surplus energy that we contribute to the grid. Now, we showcase our office as a live and operational example of a green building.

Gujarat is at the forefront of infrastructure development. Brief us on the role GPCB played in upholding the objec-

Gujarat Pollution Control Board Member Secretary Hardik Shah tells Veena Kurup of ENN about the strides the state has made towards green constructions – to keep sustainable development close by and pollution at bay tives of green construction? We took the clue from our state’s vision emphasizing on renewable energy, as Gujarat has already installed more than 800MW of solar power projects. Traditionally, we are used to the import of conventional sources of energy such as coal and crude oil; instead, we should pro-actively promote solar energy that the nature has blessed India with. In Gujarat, there is a Green Building Promotion Committee. We took up this agenda to have green buildings in government setup, so that the private sector could also be roped into the drive. We have the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) in Ahmedabad conducting awareness campaigns for green buildings. With the GPCB’s own eco-building, we have set an example for others to emulate and take the mission forward.

Tell us on the use of hazardous waste in cement kilns. We have seen that high calorific value hazardous waste is usually not considered of any use and most of these are dumped into industrial waste landfill sites or sent to incinerators. In Gujarat, we started working on harnessing this valuable energy resource, and have been quite successful in the cement industry. More than 9 lakh tonnes of waste has been co-processed in the cement industry in the past three years. We have progressed in this field, and

With industrialization, environment pollution is a big concern today. What is the role of GPCB in this domain?

Hardik Shah

Gujarat Pollution Control Board Member Secretary

Although development is happening at a fast pace, we have seen in Gujarat that the pollution parameters have gone down over the years, more so because of growing urbanization. However, we have reined in pollution reasonably well and tried to abide by the parameters in most industrial and urban areas.

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Getting best out of waste “High calorific value hazardous waste is usually

dumped; but in Gujarat, we are working on harnessing this valuable energy resource, and it has been quite successful in the cement industry� now have a roadmap ready to move further. In the plastics industry, we have the capacity to utilize 300 tonnes of raw material a day, and very successfully utilized it as fuel.

How do you see the role of sustainable environment planning towards effective urban planning and development? It is very important because anything that we do has a lot of impact on the environment and natural resources. As industrialization and urbanization has increased in the state of Gujarat, like elsewhere, it is imperative to have sustainable approach in urban planning. We have introduced cleaner fuel and strengthened our public transport to reduce load of private vehicles, among other structured approaches and policies implemented in the state.

Could you brief us on the GPCB initiatives in the pipeline? We plan to exploit full potential of ce-

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ment plants, and once achieved, we would try out the initiative in thermal power and steel industries as well. Gujarat has the highest investment in environmental infrastructure, and we intend to do more in this direction. Also, we have taken up a project of environmental clinics. As part of the focused interventions by the GPCB, we go to the industries to ask them for their problems and offer expert assistance and guidance to solve those. These clinics can be sector specific, process specific, region specific, product specific or environment specific. In order to involve the academia, we have started a programme, wherein researchers are invited and allowed to work on real time environmental problems. This way we can promote environmental research and also attract the local Indian talent.

How do you tackle the issue of solid waste management (MSW) that has become a challenge for most of the cities

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across India? Given the pace of urbanization, it has become a burning issue today, not just in India but globally. Innovative approaches are being worked out to handle the issue. For example, we have taken up trials of co-processing of municipal solid waste (MSW) by enriching it with RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) and also without it. Tier-II and III cities have been included for model development, and now 50 towns and 50 urban areas have been included for conversion into model towns and cities. The plan includes treatment of MSW and sewage.

What are the major challenges the organisation faces in implementation of programmes? First challenge pertains to effective research in the field of environment conservation and pollution control, as we do not have enough research done in these areas, especially with regard to industrial waste. It needs to be enhanced. Secondly, while working on an innovative idea, you need to have an excellent team to implement the vision. But, in a government organization you may not have much choice; so, we are trying to raise the team by motivating people, taking them along and providing enough opportunities for capacity building to achieve success. n


Green Cities

Upholding his passion for sustainable architecture and delivering flawless execution, Sandeep Shikre, CEO & President, SSA Architects, shares his insights about the distinct facets involved in green construction. An interaction with Veena Kurup of ENN

‘India is sustainable in nature by birth’ What is the impact of Green Building movement on India’s infra-construction sector? Current scenario is very subjective in nature. Awareness towards development of green buildings began in our country about 10-12 years back, when the first CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) headquarters was built in Hyderabad. At that time, everyone wondered what the ‘Green’ approach was. However, the scenario has undergone a sea change, and now after 10 years, people are increasingly becoming aware of the Green approach implementation. Masses are becoming more and more aware about the correct interpretation of the Green Buildings concept, and a lot of developers seem passionate about adopting and implementing this sustainable development mode. The major credit for spreading green developmental message must be given to the industry associations like Indian Green Building Council, TERI and GRIHA. Any new initiative can be motivated and effectively practised only when tangible measures are attached to it. The rise of rating systems has increased the enthusiasm and approach of the customers towards the Green momentum. But the sector still has a lot of scope for improvement and there is a need for correct understanding of the concept.

Is cost a hurdle for the positive pace of Green Building movement? It’s a myth that architecture and construction of green buildings are expensive. The concept needs to be understood well. The fact is that it is an intellectual property that requires an effective approach and proper expertise. A decade ago, construction of green buildings involved an incremental cost of about 12-14 percent, because green technologies were not readily available then. Even the product and technology vendors were not fully efficient or available with the green concept. But the situation Kohinoor Square has created a record at the Council of Tall Buildings & Urban Habitat (CTBUH) to be the tallest Mixed Use and Commercial Building in India

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The

has changed today: the world is coming closer and resources are also more easily available. Today, you can develop a platinum building using the most difficult and challenging green construction methods with an incremental cost of just 2 percent. This is the beauty of the exercise and can be effectively implemented with the availability of distinct quality engineering and architectural experts. A vital requirement while constructing a green building is the need to ensure energy efficiency of the green building or structure. Such a scientific approach is already practised in developed countries, where the buildings are rated with POE (Post Occupation Evaluation). Hence, such rating parameters are crucial, and can create more vibrant acceptance among the people. Besides, other vital concepts involved in the development of Green structures are the effective utilization of natural resources, especially water and energy. Today, we see a positive scenario as the need for effective management of water resources, recycling and harvesting of water are being realised and increasingly being practised.

What is your approach towards recycled building materials and water technologies?

India no ‘greenhorn’ “Today, India is the second-largest country in the

world in terms of green footprint, with US having the highest green footprint index. With effective planning and sensible execution, we can emerge as the most sustainable nation” developments ahead. With the advancements in green technologies, if utilized effectively, even the smallest residential building can be installed with water treatment plants in future.

uct is achieved.

What is the role an architect plays in Green Buildings?

The Green Building movement is spreading fast in India. It is now the second-largest country in the world in terms of green footprint, with US having the highest green footprint index. On the basis of increasing adoption and awareness levels, India is ahead of European countries. Many villages and interior areas in India are still devoid of power or face power and water shortage. This has forced them to use renewable energy resources and practise rainwater harvesting, recycling and treatment methods. Indians are hardly luxurious in utilizing the natural resources. Hence, India is sustainable in nature by birth. With effective planning and sensible execution, we can emerge as the most sustainable nation.

The architect plays a crucial role, as he is the author of the entire green building story. It must be clearly understood that construction of a quality green structure is possible only when practised from the foundation stages. The green initiative has to be an integral process, which needs to be adopted since the inception of the process. A good architect understands sustainable structure develops the building from first day and makes it micro-climate responsive, which is in sync with the engineers and energy conservation methodologists. An architect is the leader of a structure and it is under his leadership that experts from distinct arena chip in their inputs and then a final sustainable prod-

What are your expectations from the green architecture in the coming years?

Basically, sustainability can be associated with three prime words – reduce, recycle and reuse. Resources when utilised smartly can be reused. Hence today, manufacturers not just opt for simply building materials, but for products that do not degrade easily and can be recycled. Water is a very vital resource for the survival of mankind. We can't afford to waste it and let it go down the drains. For instance, in a city like Singapore, black water is recycled and converted to potable water. This shows the progress in science and technology being implemented and successfully practised in our neighbouring regions. India has not yet reached that level of operation, but going by the current pace of changes, we are optimistic about the

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On a global scale, where do you rate the advancements in India’s Green Building movement?

Sandeep Shikre CEO & President, SSA Architects

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Green is the need of the hour and there is no option but to adopt and implement it. The only expectation is to aim towards raising the operational bars in terms of efficiency, introducing new innovations and setting up idealistic models before the public to strengthen mass awareness. Also, strategic modes of defining and implementing deciding parameters are required to fast-track the adoption and understand the need for green approach. Such an attitude will lead to creation of a motivating atmosphere, where the basic principles would be clearly defined. Close participation is required of all stakeholders in leveraging the success of the Green Building movement. n


Green Cities

‘Tekla tech helps workforce connect’ Advancements in technology have revolutionized the operational outlook of the infraconstruction sectors. Take us through the present scenario. India enjoys immense potential in the twin sectors of infrastructure and construction, wherein latter sector is the second prime economic sector after agriculture. The sector is definitely going to be the focus area in the coming years. In addition, with the new government taking the reins of power, we expect more prospective opportunities to emerge. However, in India a huge vacuum exists between the need and availability of the infrastructural facilities. The need of the hour is to fill this vacuum with the erection of new infrastructural facilities.

What is the role of design software towards development of affordable housing and sustainable cities? The concept of affordable housing is widely considered as a mass housing project. For raising project for the masses, conventional construction technologies are improper solutions, as mass housing calls for advanced technologies. For instance, our unique

Nirmalya Chatterjee, COO & Director – Operations & Business, Tekla India Pvt Ltd, shares his thoughts with Veena Kurup of ENN over the evolution, demand trends and opportunities for construction design software in India

precast technology supports the developers or contractors in executing the project efficiently. It helps in initiating the project from the conception stage to execution and even in future maintenance aspects. Hence, Tekla products provide end-to-end solutions to a distinct range of customers from varied sectors. Strategic management of raw materials is one of the key benefits that come with Tekla’s software and technologies for developing green and sustainable infrastructure. Inefficient modes of handling raw materials often invite hazardous environmental consequences at construction sites. Such situations require technologies that can help in better resource management and optimization. Tekla’s software have contributed immensely towards the development of such sustainable structures over the years.

Nirmalya Chatterjee COO & Director – Operations & Business, Tekla India Pvt Ltd

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Construction design software have evolved from 2D, 3D, 4D to 5D and 6D levels today. Please share your outlook about this technical evolution. The industry has seen the evolution of design software up to 6D-level technology. But there is a need to understand the actual concept attached to those evolving technical phases. While the 4D concept is mostly associated with managing the time quotient effectively, the 5D concept ensures cost efficiency. Until five years ago, project developers used to execute only one or two projects at a time, but now with the effective usage of these technologies, project developers are able to execute several projects simultaneously. Planning and utilization of advanced technologies are effective where time and project planning are crucial factors. In addition, these technologies also help in better co-ordination, and resource planning and management, facilitating easy execution of projects. A similar end-to-end solution is offered now by Tekla - now part of US-based Trimble. Under this umbrella technology, Tekla offers distinct solutions starting from architectural to structural and more. All these products are designed and offered as per the industry requirements.

launched our Tekla BIMsight product. Tekla BIMsight is a professional tool for construction project coordination, wherein the entire construction workflow can combine the models, check for conflicts and share information using the same easy-to-use BIM environment.

How efficiently does Tekla utilize the mobile platform for service delivery, particularly in construction sites located at far-off places? Lack of co-ordination is a common concern at the construction sites today. Very often, the project managers or the construction worksite supervisors are unaware or completely detached from the design department. The situation, thus, demands development and practice of informative communication platforms. The potential of mobile technology in such situations is huge. Tekla offers the new Field3D software to bridge the gap. It is an easy-to-use 3D collaboration software solution for Building Information Modeling (BIM) that works on mobile devices, enabling workmen to access a 3D model of information for an entire building on smartphones and tablets.

Considering the prevalent scenario, what are the major hurdles faced by a construction design software provider in India? One of the major challenges is the customers’ approach towards new technologies: India has a very knowledgeable and qualitative workforce, but they often dither in going for new software. However, such a situation has also its brighter side: the workforce takes its time to analyze and understand the new technology before finally embracing it. Lack of customization and localization of products is another major challenge that needs to be taken care of before those are launched in the Indian market.

Tell us about Tekla’s India operations and how do you plan to cash in on the opportunities in the international markets? Our Indian office is responsible for the entire SAARC region. Last year, we had marked our presence in Bangladesh and this year we have landed in Nepal.

How can the design software help in easing the cost burden of construction? Project execution primarily involves two elements – successful execution and collaboration among architects, raw material providers, developers, contractors, etc. However, in many cases, there is utter lack of coordination among them, causing hurdles in clearing each level of the construction process. In such a scenario, our end-to-end solutions come handy. Adittionally, we recently

Fail-safe technology “Inefficient handling of raw materials often leads to

hazardous environmental consequences at construction sites. Tekla’s software help in better resource management and optimization”

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Tekla India aims to establish its presence across the SAARC region. The last three years of our Indian operations have been paid off well prospective, and we have gained a growth of over 25 percent. In addition, we have also plans to set foot in Sri Lanka by the end of this year. n


Green Cities

Arun Dubey, Director, Greywater, talks about the need for and evolving phases of water management, recycling, and wastewater treatment technologies in the Indian context. Excerpts from an interaction with Veena Kurup of ENN Arun Dubey

Director, Greywater

‘Water management still off priority list’ The rising focus towards sustainability has accelerated the importance of water treatment technologies in India. What is your opinion on the prevalent scenario? Our country has always laid great emphasis on power, energy, infrastructure, etc. But water, on the other hand, has still not found its place on the list of pri-

ority areas. Most of our major cities face severe problem of water crisis and this demand has made water management an important issue, especially in the last five years. Considering this scenario, we have focused on promoting sustainable water management, wherein water recycling has come to be recognized as one of the prominent ways to meet the requirements. Instead of the traditional

way, which is based on a centralized system entailing a lot of redundancies, we promote easy-to-use decentralized solutions. The next generation decentralized sewage treatment plants are located at multiple locations within a city and have made the entire process of setting up sewage treatment plants modular in nature. This mode makes utilization of wastewater easy and effective.

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Tell us about the unique products and technologies offered by Jaldhara Technologies aimed at transforming the way water is treated in India? Our flagship product is Grewa R-S, which is a fully automatic tank supported by Sequencing Batch Reactors (SBR) technology for sewage and wastewater treatment. The product is equipped with unique features such as capability to handle variable load (10 percent to 110 percent of design capacity), and fully automated robust operations. In addition, the product involves low operation and maintenance cost, and is priced almost at par with the conventional technologies. The product can be considered as a total solution for all wastewater treatment requirements. The SBR technology, increasingly being adopted by progressive builders today, is yet to reach the Tier II cities. A builder might purchase or invest in green products for developing an eco-structure, but he is mostly unsure of making investment in eco-friendly resource treatment technologies. The

cost involved also plays a major role while selecting the technology, as the builder often opts for the cheapest product available. This is one of the major hurdles affecting the progress of such technologies in the Indian market. The market, as a whole, is still very cost sensitive in nature, especially for the green products. However, the situation is gradually improving with the increasing awareness towards sustainability facets of construction. This year, we have received an increased demand for wastewater treatment and recycling technologies, as compared to the last year, when infra-construction sector as a whole was lying low. The market is expected to improve and open up new avenues in the coming years.

What are the major challenges faced by the players in evolving sectors like water treatment or wastewater recycling industry in India? A major reason for the purchase of our products by the clients is regulatory compliance. But effective application of the technology only through enforce-

Quality at a discount “Easy availability of water as a highly-subsidized

commodity is a major challenge today. As the actual cost of the commodity is not on the consumer, they mostly do not ask for management of water quality�

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ment of the mandatory requirements and guidelines is not enough‌much depends on individual initiatives as well. That is yet to happen in India. The other major challenge is easy availability of water, as it is a highly subsidized commodity. As the actual cost of the commodity is never on the consumer, they mostly do not ask for management of water quality. And finally, a more proactive approach from the government can leverage the progress of the industry. Though policies and guidelines are being implemented at the macro level, adoption of policies is still required at the micro level. The country has already tasted the success brought in by initiatives like Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission in utilizing renewable energy resources. Initiatives on similar scales for adoption of water recycling and wastewater treatment technologies can substantially contribute towards promotion of awareness about the importance of quality water on a large scale.

Share with us your growth projections for the sector in the years ahead. Water is a very limited resource not just in India but across the world. The requirement for clean water will only go up with the ever-rising population index. The evolving situation is only expected to demand proper resource management, supplemented with increasing focus towards sustainable growth and planning on utilization of water resources. More importantly, the spectre of water crisis already looms over many prominent cities of the country. Hence, the potential of water recycling and wastewater treatment technologies is expected to shoot up in the coming years. Visualizing these opportunities, we have focused ourselves on new domestic growth zones like Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh. We also plan to make forays into new avenues in the international markets, like Africa, this very fiscal. n


Company Profile Profile

Setting new operational benchmarks, Satec Envir Engineering (I) Pvt Ltd is committed to strengthen India’s infrastructure for a better and cleaner tomorrow.

I

Satec: Innovation meets engineering excellence

ndia today, is growing at an unprecedented rate. India’s infrastructure industry is ranked second in the world. But there is a dichotomy: while we see sprawling urban infrastructure, rural India is still challenged by basic needs like availability of lowcost housing and clean affordable energy.

Since our inception in 2005, Satec has continuously strived to provide quality infrastructure. Low-cost and clean housing for site employees in rural areas, module mounting structures for Solar Energy Plants, Pre-Engineered Buildings, Transmission Towers, etc, are some of Satec Envir’s initiatives aimed towards strengthening rural infrastructure development. Whether it is providing low-cost housing for hydro-Electric power plant in Bhutan or housing projects in South Africa and Australia, Satec’s aim is to set new standards of excellence in the industrial infrastructure space. Meeting the energy requirements of a country with burgeoning population is another hurdle being faced by India. While India is reaching new heights in the global economy, over 25 percent of the country’s population still lives in darkness. “It is our dream to enable low cost, sustainable and clean energy for everybody,” upholds Satec. Exploring this opportunity and aiming to address these requirements Satec provides comprehensive EPC solutions in the solar power space. With Value Engineering and Total Quality Management as strengths, Satec also ensures to provide quality service

Amarprakash Agarwal, MD and Gaurav Agarwal, CFO, Satec Envir Engineering (I) Pvt Ltd

to clients. One such shining example is the work with Sun Edison on the historic Narmada project in the solar space where design solution helped save 12 percent of the project cost. Satec has also established itself as a key player in the Portable Cabins industry by executing a variety of landmark projects for companies such as Essar, Jindal, Monnet Ispat and Sterlite, to name a few. Satec’s Portable Cabins are the intelligent, cost-effective and efficient solution to site offices and residences. Designed and customized with care and made from superior quality materials, these portable cabins are built to last. Satec provides all-inclusive, design-to-build solutions for PreEngineered Structures. The design solutions not only make the project, time and cost efficient, but also ensure a lifespan of over 35 years for the structure. Whether it is portable housing or pre-engineered warehouses, Satec assures quality and also provides a high degree of customization on each project. Satec constantly endeavors to provide innovative solutions for the infrastructure industry and has therefore widened its service portfolio to even include Telecom and transmission Towers. “We, at Satec, are committed to strengthening India’s Infrastructure for a better and cleaner tomorrow,” emphasizes Satec as its operational mantra. The company has set up a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Bhuj, Gujarat. Spread over 3,04,920 sq ft and constructed shed of 140,000 square feet, this ISO certified facility is equipped to fabricate PreEngineered Structures, Solar Structures and all components required in the infrastructure space. Value engineering, quality management, expertise in pre-engineered structures and solar infrastructure make Satec Envir Engineering a turnkey solutions provider in the infrastructure space. The firm which kick-started its operations upon the dream of a single person to provide engineering excellence, Satec have today emerged as the dream of millions aspiring for clean and sustainable infrastructure. n

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Cover Story

Equipment that Shape up Infrastructure Surviving economic hurdles and market dynamism, India’s construction equipment sector moves firm in technology-powered growth mode and in tune with a visible uptrend in the infrastructure sector, writes Veena Kurup of ENN

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T

he growth story of Indian economy has witnessed numerous cyclical changes in the recent years, and impacted various sectors accordingly. Infrastructure, one of the major revenue resources for the economy, was also often seen battling umpteen odds, including delays in project execution and cancellation of numerous projects. This had an adverse impact on the ancillary industries as well, including the construction equipment (CE) sector. Dynamism in market and recurring economic volatilities created a direct impact upon the domestic construction equipment industry. However, broader macro-economic trends, such as favourable interest rate changes, flexibility in liquidity facets and rising infrastructure investments, over the years have started reflecting in a growing demand for a vibrant construction equipment sector.

Dissecting the market pie

Of the total market sphere, the CE sector involves five core segments – earthmoving equipment, road construction equipment, concrete equipment, and material handling and processing equipment. Of these, earthmoving equipment lead the CE sector and has approximately 70 percent market share of the Indian CE spectrum. Concrete equipment follow the lead with about 14 percent share, while material handling and processing equipment account for the remaining market slice, with about 10 percent and six percent, respectively. According to analysts, the construction equipment market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 18.52 percent during 2012-2016, while the global construction market is anticipated to hit `7,310 billion by 2016, posting a CAGR of 7.7 percent.

Evolving trends

The operational pace of CE sector in India underwent a massive change with the opening up of market and the acceptance of a liberal-globalised economy. Increasing participation from multinational equipment manufacturers and the enhancement of communication networks have boosted the demand outlook for the sector.

Figure 1: Overview of the construction equipment sector Market Size (` Bn) 461.5

500 400 300

208.4

252.3

308.2

377.1

200 100 0

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Source: IPSOS Business Consulting

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Over the years, successive government’s efforts to bring in favourable macro-economic changes in the real estate sector have started reflecting in a growing demand in the CE sector Automated mechanised operations are one such innovation that has gained prominence with the penetration of international manufacturers. M2M communication (man-to-machine and vice versa) is the most widely adopted technology today among the Indian CE players. Enhanced operational hours, minimal maintenance requirements and availability of live-operational data are the few benefits thrown up by the increased implementation of automated controlling technologies. The demand for mechanised facilities and machines with automatic controls and monitoring systems is also being pushed by the small- and medium-scale equipment manufacturers in India. Technical assistance, tie-ups and mergers are the most common modes adopted by the medium and small CE manufacturers for enhancing their technical know-how. Pilot digitised cabins, GPS and GPRS trackers, advance management systems and remote-controlled operator feedback telematics are the prominent technical implements being adopted by the CE players.


Cover Story

Real estate sector

Cost of construction equipment as share of total projects

Building 4.5% Medium-size industry

7-9%

Mineral plants

20-22% Source: IPSOS Business Consulting

In automatic mode

Although there are lot many names operating in the Indian CE manufacturing sphere, some of the successful leaders making it big in the automated operational pace include CE majors like JCB India, Sany, Mahindra Earthmaster and Caterpillar. JCB’s Advance Management System is the heart of its tracked excavator. The in-cab monitor gives a graphical display of fuel and engine levels, hydraulic oil temperatures, audio visual warning of machine errors and guidance on appropriate function selections. A similar technology powered with automated telematic features is implemented in Mahindra & Mahindra’s Earthmaster equipment. The REMOTECARE feature in Earthmaster assists the operator in giving feedback in six different Indian languages. Another major, Caterpillar India Pvt Ltd offers its revolutionary solution AccuGrade Control System in its distinct range of products to meet the design specifications of the projects. The system is factory integrated, sensor-independent and features a suite of products which include cross slope, sonic, laser, GPS and ATS technology. By combining digital design data, in-cab operator guidance features and automatic blade controls, the AccuGrade system ensures enhanced grading accuracy, and virtually eliminates the need for survey stakes.

With the installation of the new government at the Centre, the construction equipment sector hopes to hear some real good news for the industry, infusing it with a new lease of life

Battling the hurdles

Although the CE sector is on a constant techno-powered evolutionary path, industry experts outline numerous operational roadblocks in regaining the sector’s lost shine. “The industry has been playing a pivotal role in building infrastructure, but was affected due to a sharp decline in execution of infrastructure projects in the past two-three years,” says Amit Gossain, President of ICEMA (Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers Association) and Executive Vice President-Marketing, Business Development and Corporate Affairs, JCB India Ltd. The sector’s growth pace got further meddled due to the issues of land acquisition, absence of environmental clearances and deterioration in financial inflow to assist construction equipment manufacturers. As per the IIP (Index of Industrial Production) statistics, during April-December period of FY13-14, the growth contracted by 0.1 percent primarily due to a 1.8 percent decline in mining IIP and a 0.6 percent fall in manufacturing IIP. According to research and credit ratings agency ICRA, the Indian CE sector witnessed its second consecutive year of volume de-growth during FY13-14 when the volume demand witnessed a fall by about 15-17 percent, i.e. 55,000–56,000 units. According to the Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturer’s Association (ICEMA) estimates, the CE industry has already witnessed a negative growth of over 30 percent in terms of equipment sale during the past two years. The other major hurdle faced by the CE manufacturers is the issue of heavy excise duty levied by the government. Aiming to resolve this concern, ICEMA recently asked the government to bring in some relief measures. “ICEMA has demanded cut in excise duty from the government on earthmoving and construction equipment, as it can help in handling the adverse scenario,” stated Gossain. Prolonged presence of Chinese and other unorganised players has always been a concern for the growth of India’s CE sector on a qualitative scale. The unorganised section of CE manufacturers is gaining increasing prominence due to the preference of small construction companies for low-cost Chinese products. These products,

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Land is a huge concern for the realty sector, but the availability of commercial and residential land in tier-I and tier-II cities augers well for the growth of the construction equipment sector

Construction & Material Handling Equipment Industry Products

56%

Spare Parts

21%

Unorganized Sector

15%

Services

6%

Exports

2% Source: IPSOS Business Consulting

which are priced comparatively cheaper by 5-10 percent than the standard CE products, emerge as real hurdles before the established manufacturers. Chinese equipment manufacturers today enjoy a strong prominence in Wheel Loaders and Dozers segment, where they account for about 10 percent market share. This has also resulted in an increase in the import of construction equipment and attachments.

Opportunities ahead

Despite these prevalent concerns, the infra-focussed approach upheld in the 12th Five Year Plan, expansion of real estate development from India’s urban to tier-II and tier-III come as a new ray of hope for the Indian CE sector. Besides, the increasing demand for infra-construction activities and civil engineering projects has contributed to a huge fillip in the 12th Plan period as against the previous Plan period. Real estate is another segment which has opened positive business opportunities for the CE sector in India. According to industry experts, the real estate sector, which is expected to

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grow at a CAGR of 14.2 percent during 2011-20, will provide numerous opportunities for the construction OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). Though land is a crucial concern for the realty sector in India, the evolving availability of commercial and residential land from tier-I and tier-II regions augers well for the growth of the sector. Similarly, higher FDI (foreign direct investment) in construction has further leveraged the opportunities in the construction equipment sector. Rental and business of pre-used machineries has emerged as another prospective avenue for the CE sector in India. NDS Chari, Head KAM and Partnership, Srei Equipment Finance, says, “Purchase of new equipment has almost vanished today and has resulted in a large-scale demand shift towards preowned equipment.” A paradigm shift is being witnessed in the consumer preferences from price-sensitive buyers to more value-focussed consumers. As per the market research firm RNCOS’ findings in its study “Booming Construction Equipment Market in India”, the share of rental industry in the CE sector is set to rise dynamically by 2020. Quality has, thus, superseded price-competitiveness in the Indian CE market. The surging CE sector has another reason to look forward to better times ahead: the installation of a new Government of India, as it expects some real good news for the industry coming from the new dispensation sooner than later. n


Cover Story

With its wide range of energy-efficient construction devices, Case India is focusing on a long-term perspective for the Indian market, says Abhijit Gupta, MD, Case New Holland Construction Equipment (I) Pvt Ltd, in an interaction with Veena Kurup of ENN

Roads to drive demand in Indian CE sector

Last fiscal posed numerous hurdles before the construction equipment (CE) sector, both on global as well as national levels. What was Case’s approach for sustaining this competitive sphere? Case has a dedicated team, and our sole intention is to pace up with the latest trends and emission standards. We constantly strive to achieve low levels of emission and have optimum fuel con

sumption for the machines, which boast of superior technology.

What is your outlook about the current scenario and the emerging trends in the Indian construction equipment market? Equipment uptime is one of the major factors considered while selecting machines. Reliable machines being a must for executing time-bound projects, all

Abhijit Gupta, MD, Case New Holland Construction Equipment (I) Pvt Ltd

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“For Case, the main demand driver for the products will be road construction segment and the general construction, basically housing… In fact, growth in any segment of infrastructure will push demand for the range of our products.”

equipment manufacturers are trying to innovate and adapt to latest trends. The Indian CE manufacturers are in continuous process of improving the productivity of their machines. CASE 851, the Backhoe Loader in 96hp category, has a dual stage pump with load-sensing system, which results in higher productivity, apart from fuel efficiency. The four-wheel drive version of this model has gained good acceptance in tough hilly terrain of North East and Nepal due to higher wheel torque and force.

Case caters to a distinct range of equipment varying from graders, compactors, wheel loaders, skid steer loaders etc. Which of these has been the major demand driver for your India operations? For Case, the main demand driver for the products will be road construction segment and the general construction, basically housing. In fact, the products are utilized in all the sectors of infrastructure development. Our vibratory compactors are used for road construction, irrigation projects and for making canals. Similarly, the backhoe loader section is extensively used for overall development of infrastructure. In fact, growth in any segment of infrastructure will push demand for the range of our products.

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How do you see the prospects for wheel loader segment in India and what are the evolving customer trends in this section? With the advancing technical pace, clients are today willing to opt more for large-sized wheel loaders, which is more than five tonnes pay load. Our machines are equipped with technologies like automatic transmission and electronic controls for engine. The customers will pay for features and demand them once they see the benefits. The Cooling Box in the Case wheel loader and the hydraulic joy sticks for controls are some of the features that the market is bound to appreciate.

Can you detail us the unique technologies implemented by Case for providing energy efficiency to your customers? Case focusses on implementing and maintaining fuel-efficient technologies used for the backhoes and in all range of compactors. In our backhoe loaders, the engines which are being used are according to the BS-III norms. We have incorporated the optimum engine working temperatures to minimize emission. These engines are fitted with high pressure rotary-type fuel injectors, IEGR, turbocharger and heavy-duty silencers to keep the emissions low. For better

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fuel consumptions, we have opted for engines which produce better torque at optimum engine speeds. Similarly, our vibratory compactors are also fitted with BS-III emission norm engines. Like the loader backhoe engines, these engines also have the high-pressure rotary fuel injection systems. These engines are equipped with both IEGR & EEGR to keep the hazardous emissions to bare minimum. Apart from the EGR mechanism, these engines are also equipped with turbocharger waste gate control mechanism.

Can we see further product additions or expansion plans from Case this fiscal? We would like to be a one-stop solution provider in the construction equipment segment with a full product line. We have sustained plans of introducing quality products in India. For Case, we do not look at the short-term objectives; we have a very long-term perspective as far as Indian market is concerned. We see huge growth potential in mining sector. Apart from quarrying and mining, road construction sector is also an immensely potential sector for us. Looking at the infrastructural need, the road construction segment would emerge as the major demand driver for the CE sector in India. n


Cover Story

JCB India Expertise at level next The company raises the excellence bar with new energy-efficient power-packed products

J

CB India Ltd, the leader of construction equipment market in India, has believed in serving its customers through its core mantra “One Global Quality”. Kick-starting its operations in 1979, the company has emerged as the fastest growing firm in the Indian earthmoving and construction equipment industry. JCB India is a pioneer in the industry and has been recording excellent growth rates year-on-year. JCB India offers an extensive range of 27 variants in seven product lines - Backhoe Loaders, Wheeled Loaders, Excavators, Skid Steer Loaders, Tele-handlers, Compactors and Pick-&-Carry Crane. Starting from eight-tonne excavator to 22-tonne excavator, the company offers a range of tracked excavators, which are popularly used at various construction sites across the country. Its excavator range reflects the JCB’s drive to constantly make its machines better, more productive and more efficient. Continuing with the tradition of offering high power products and maintaining universal global quality, JCB India recently made three new additions to its expertise product basket. While JS205LC and JS220 LC are the two new entrants in the Tracked Excavator range, 3DXcellence is the new member in the Backhoe Loader line.

A fuel-efficient, robust performer

The newly launched 20 tonne excavator JS205LC is suited for applications such as earthwork, quarrying, road construction, etc. It offers outstanding cycle time and has a rugged and robust structure, which makes it highly durable. The key benefits of JS205 LC are best-in-class performance, unparalleled fuel efficiency, ease in serviceability, utmost operator comfort and advanced safety features. The machine offers excellent bucket capacity of 0.8 cu. m – 1.02 cu. m and has an operating weight of 20,500 kg (standard carriage) and 21,500 kg (long carriage). The machine is powered with a gross engine power of 106 kw. The excellent bucket and dipper tear-out forces result in high output and faster completion of work, especially in hard strata. JCB’s innovative hydraulic regeneration system recycles hydraulic oil across the cylinders for faster cycle times and reduced fuel consumption.

The equipment is also installed with JCB’s advanced load sensing hydraulic system, designed especially for lower energy needs. Increased engine power and pump flow for faster operations ensure higher output as required. In addition, the compact and easy-to-handle bonnet is assisted by gas cylinders and helps in easy serviceability of the machines (especially in opening and closing). The feature further eases the periodic maintenance of the machine and access to periodic check points. Wire mesh is also provided to avoid clogging of radiator and oil cooler. The ergonomically placed operator controls and roof hatch aided by rear sliding window highly increases the operator efficiency. The new JS205LC also comes with an AC option. The machine is also equipped with audio and visual alerts in instrumental panel for air-filter, blockage, low coolant level and high hydraulic oil temperatures. Belly guard provided for the lower frame and undercover for the upper frame further ensure operator safety in handling the equipment.

JS205 LC Excavator - - -

Gross engine power: 106 kw, Bucket capacity: 0.8 - 1.02 cu. m Operating weight: 20,500 kg (standard carriage); 21,500 kg (long carriage)

ICE Connect / iceconnect.eletsonline.com / June 2014

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Cover Story

JS220 LC Tracked Excavator

heart of the system is the in-cab monitor equipped with Advance Management System. The system gives a graphical display of fuel and engine levels and hydraulic oil temperatures. Besides, the machine, like JS205 LC, also provides audio visual warnings on mechanical errors and function selection. The audio-visual alerts provided in instrumental panel also alerts on air filter blockage, low coolant levels and high hydraulic oil temperatures.

- Gross engine power:167 hp - Bucket capacity: 0.8-1.02 cu. m - Operating weight: 21,750 kg

A reliable, turbo-charged partner

The JS220 LC tracked excavator ensures excellent operator-friendly setup and all-round visibility during digging, loading and positioning activities. The heavy duty excavator is powered by the best-in-class engine power of 167 hp and has higher operating speeds, which can provide higher output. The equipment is fitted with top-class JCB ecoMAX engine with eco-hydraulics, which can provide saving of up to `3 lakh per year on fuel costs. The engine is four-cylinder turbo charged, is water cooled and has common rail injection system. The energy efficiency upheld in engine enables to have hydraulic fluid life up to 5,000 hours. The machine also has removable front lower glass and sliding rear window. The

Earth’s energy efficient backhoes

One of its JCB's benchmark equipment, 3DXcellence range of JCB Backhoe Loaders, has a gross engine power of 56 kw and an operating weight of 7,460 kg. The equipment fitted with ecoMAX engine can lower 20 percent fuel consumption in excavation, which can save fuel worth `2.6 lakh per year, at current prices. The in-house purpose built 76 hp ecoMAX engine powered machine also has power track steering rod system, which provides equal turn steering and quick response with less operating force. The JCB synchroshuttle transmission also provides advanced drive power in all conditions and consists of fourspeed, fully synchromesh, smooth shift gearbox with integral torque convertor and electrically operated reversing shuttle. The machine is also fitted with new JCB ‘Q’ brakes to ease the braking effort by 30 percent, ultimately leading to effective breaking and reduced fatigue while operating.

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The heavy boom is designed with 22 percent deeper and six percent wider sections for high durability and strength, and 12 percent deeper and seven percent wider arm sections to provide higher strength. Damage protection plate and wear ribs are also installed for protection from external damage. Also, the use of robust cast ends and pivot bosses provide higher strength and durability to boom and arm. Reinforced rails at the bottom of ‘A’ frame and box section side member design provide durability in tough working conditions and IP67/69 dust and water proof connectors for electrical harness for high reliability of electrics.

3DXcellence Backhoe Loader - Gross engine power: 56 kw - 20% lower fuel consumption in excavation - Operating weight : 7,460 kg

For ensuring utmost operator comfort and safety, the machine is also built with spacious, comfortable and livable cabin. The new range of backhoe also has hydraulically actuated, dual line, self adjusting, oil immersed, multi-disc type on the rear axle, which is well protected from dirt, water etc. The features ensure minimal or zero maintenance requirements and hence is an asset for long-time to the customer. The construction equipment leader through the recent launches is on a constant ascending phase in setting new operational benchmarks and opening new globalized facilities for Indian CE market. The industry major aims to further enhance its potentials and is on a quality focused customer based operational approach in delivering n its expertise in the Indian terrain.

June 2014 / iceconnect.eletsonline.com / ICE Connect


Realty Check

With the change of a ‘pro-development’ government, realty sector hopes to finally eject itself out of the morass it has been stuck in since the 2009 economic downturn, writes Rajesh Sharma of ENN

Real estate hits spring board

T

hat the realty sector in India is rising seems obvious now. India is the world’s seventh largest landmass and the second most populous. While the land area remains limited, the population is growing, leading to a space crunch. The stress on land is more in the cities, where people are increasingly migrating for work. As India urbanizes, by 2030, 600 million people will inhabit its cities and it will have 68 cities with a population of over one million. With growing urbanization, land and its acquisition has become a contentious issue. Builders rush to buy large swathes of limited land for future development, thereby pushing its price up. But they are held back by the acquisition process, hence delay in getting all the clearances to develop the land further. The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Act introduced in 2014 was a watershed legislation that did away with the 120-year-old Land Acquisition Act, much to the cheering from both the industry as well as the land owners. It promised better rates to the land owners, while easing the purchase of land for the builders. The legislation removed the ambiguities and arbitrariness of the previous law, at the same

“The depressed real estate market is now expected to rise and rise soon. In fact, the sector itself is predicted to become worth about Rs 18,000 crore by 2020” ICE Connect / iceconnect.eletsonline.com / June 2014

36


Realty Check

time introducing some new ones. For example, while the law increased the compensation for land owners, it also closed any hope for a future revision of rates in case the market prices appreciated. The response from the real estate sector has been mixed. Though they appreciated the Act brought clarity in the land transfer process, the increased compensation also puts a burden on the realty builders, who in turn would pass on the increased costs to the consumer, thereby defeating the purpose of the Act. The 2009 economic slowdown affected the realty sector adversely and many projects came to a halt. The then government was unable to do much in the onslaught of the global markets. With the change of government in 2014, the depressed market seen today is expected to rise. In fact, the sector itself will be worth about Rs 18,000 crore by 2020. The real estate sector of India is projected to post annual revenues of Rs 18,000 crore by 2020 against Rs 6,680 crore in 2010-11, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.6 per cent. The demand is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19 per cent in the period 2010-2014, with Tier I metropolitan cities expected to account for about 40 per cent of this growth. As of now, Mumbai, Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) and Bengaluru cater to 46 per cent of total office space demand in India. This demand is expected to rise sharply in Tier II cities such as Kolkata and Chennai in the period 2010-14. A major area of area of growth in realty is expected to be malls. Though not as bullish on the growth of malls as earlier, the demand in mall space is expected to grow in keeping pace with the changing shopping habits of the urban population. About 53 per cent of demand for total mall space is projected to come from the country’s top seven cities, namely Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad, and Chennai, in the period 2010-2014.

The land acquisition act is a watershed legislation that does away with the age-old law for acquiring land, much to the cheering from both the industry as well as the land owners ing at relaxing the FDI norms further to encourage investment. It has proposed a reduction in the minimum capitalization for wholly-owned subsidiaries from Rs 54 crore to Rs 27 crore, and from Rs 27 crore to Rs 10 crore for joint ventures with Indian partners. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) under the NDA Government is expected to carry forward UPA’s scheme of affordable housing for the poor in urban areas via the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM). Also, demand for space from education, healthcare and tourism sectors has opened up opportunities in the real estate sector. The higher living standards mean that Indians are demanding better infrastructure, which is good news for real estate builders.

Sanjay Dutt, executive Managing Director South Asia, Cushman and Wakefield said, “A stable Government will lift the sentiments of the investor community, which will impact housing and office space sales. Hence, both end users and investors are expected to increase their investments in the sector and contribute to its growth.

The biggest roadblock in the realty sector’s ascendance, ironically, is the legislation that was aimed at helping it, namely the LARR Act. Confederation of Indian Industry president, S Gopalakrishnan has voiced serious concerns over some of the provision of the Act. He says that the higher cost of land acquisition has pushed the overall costs up nearly 3-3.5 times. The clause requiring a builder to start developing the land within five years of acquiring it or risk losing ownership puts undue pressure on the companies to rush into projects. Sunil Mantri, president, National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) has a solution. “Farmers,” he says, “should be empowered as stakeholders in what comes up on their land and should not be alienated. Moreover, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) could own the land, wherein the farmers could own half of the SPV and the other half by project developer. The project could lease the land from the SPV and the rental income would flow to SPV shareholders. As the project matures, the SPV would go up in value and farmers could, after a lock-in period, sell their shares to encash the appreciation.”

But though the markets have reacted positively to the coming of PM Modi, but the task ahead for him is tough. Though 100 per cent foreign direct investment in the construction sector is permitted through the automatic route, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) is look-

There is a renewed optimism in the Indian realty sector owing to a recovering world economy, a new business friendly government and an interest in the Indian markets foreign investors. The question now is whether the industry will rise up and grab the opportunity that it is due. n

The coming of the BJP-led NDA has enthused the realty sector. PM Narendra Modi comes with a strong development agenda, and the industry is looking at him to fulfill the promises he made of building 100 smart cities. Should PM Modi succeed in it, the realty industry is in for a windfall.

37

June 2014 / iceconnect.eletsonline.com / ICE Connect


Realty Check

The real estate sector is close to reclaiming its past glory, Microtek Infrastructure Executive Director Pramod Agarwal tells Gautam Debroy of ENN. Excerpts from the interview:

‘Good times are around’ How do you see the prospects of the real estate sector when the economy is showing signs of recovery? I believe the good times are around. There are some strong indications of recovery in the economy. And, better Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate would always entail participation of the real estate sector. In fact, a vibrant

real estate sector can spur momentum in various other sectors as well, including the ancillary industries, thereby adding cumulatively to the economy.

What are your expectations from the Narendra Modi-led NDA Government? As it is an apparently strong and stable government, I hope decisions will be

Simply difficult! “70 to 80 approvals are required from the start of a

project to handing over of finished flats to customers. The system of so many approvals must end…we want a single-window clearance system”

taken faster. There is a marked difference between the nature of composition of the two governments - the UPA I & II were coalitions of several political parties, so the decision-making process was slow; but now, with a single party (BJP) winning majority on its own, the central government is sure to be more fast and confident in its decisions. One of the first steps the new government needs to take is ensuring passage of bills lying with different ministries. That will help the industry a lot. And, as said earlier, if a government sincerely wants to better the GDP rate, it must first boost the real estate sector, which is only second after the agriculture sector in terms of employment generation.

ICE Connect / iceconnect.eletsonline.com / June 2014

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Realty Check

Employment booster

ers around, funds were not such a big issue until a few If a government sincerely years back. But of wants to better the GDP growth late, they (people) rate, it must first boost the real have also been waitestate sector…it is only second ing for a stable and strong government to after the agriculture sector in move in with equally terms of employment generation stable policies. Previously, they were hesitant to invest in Do you feel the LARR Act will real estate or even to purchase a facilitate hassle-free land achome to live in. But we can see quisitions on the ground? a gradual shift in their attitude… The Land Acquisition and Acquisition there’s an apparent change in Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) their approach. Now they have Act will no doubt, provide transparency. started coming to us making variAlthough this Act is set to push land ous investment-related enquiries prices initially, at least land acquisition or even to go for house-buys. will be hassle-free, as it leaves hardly any room for future litigations. In the As a developer, what long run, I am sure the LARR Act will regulatory changes would prove beneficial from the viewpoint of you like to see to boost growth of the industry. However, since the sector? land is a raw material in real estate, if In the real estate sector, we have the cost of raw material goes higher, the to take 70 to 80 approvals from the costs for consumers are also set to rise start of a project until handing over of in the same ratio. finished flats to our customers. This must change…the system of so many What impact the Act will have approvals must be done away with. We on the affordable housing segwant the new government to take some ment? effective steps, and on the lines of GujaAffordable housing is a totally different rat, a single-window clearance system ball game. Different state governments should be introduced elsewhere, too. have their own set of low-cost housInstead of approaching so many departing policies. For example, as per the ments, we want fewer points of clearrecently-approved policy of the Haryana ance, four to five at the most, where government, in each sector a developer we can go and get all the necessary can own up to 10 acres of land. And, approvals within a time frame. Hasslethere is a price ceiling of `4,100/sq feet. free no-objection certificates (NOCs) I think the state governments need to are something that the developers are pay greater attention to such policies to desperately looking forward to. promote affordable housing.

With so many home seekers around, funds should not be an issue. Is it? You are right. With so many home seek-

Despite so many construction technologies around, why developers are still wary of using those?

Microtek Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd.

39

Of course, there are very efficient technologies on the block, but as those come costly, the use is very limited. For example, at Micortek, we are using aluminum sputtering for almost 80 percent of the walling requirements…only 20 percent is brick walls. Although it is quite costly, we are using this technol-

June 2014 / iceconnect.eletsonline.com / ICE Connect

Pramod Agarwal MD, Microtek Infrastructure ogy. Everything in a project is related to the costs involved. But since we do relatively more judicious planning in our projects, we have been able to offer our customers the best. Currently, there are hardly four to five projects in India using the latest technology, but in the next five to nine years, it would be mandatory for everyone to use this technology, I am sure.

What are the future plans of Microtek Infrastructure? In 2010, we decided to enter the real estate sector. We started purchasing land and meeting all the necessary requirements; as a result, today we have around eight to 10 housing infrastructure licenses on hand. We have already launched Microtek Greenburg. Several other projects are in the pipeline. Almost all the projects are around Dwarka Expressway. Now we are acquiring land in Delhi under the Delhi Master Plan 2021. Apart from that we want to expand Microtek on pan-India basis. We plan to move forward in a much bigger way once we see the government taking some concrete steps to give a push to the real estate sector. n


Realty Check

RetailLending.com Founder & Director Sukanya Kumar in an interaction with Nirmal Anshu Ranjan, of ENN talks about the future prospects of the realty industry and its expectations from the new government at the Centre

‘Real estate needs govt funding’ Now that the economy seems set for a rebound, do you think it’s time for the real estate sector to smile? Given the overall scenario, the outlook is very positive. Be it because of an all-round optimism on account of Narendra Modi factor, or a general spike in the housing demand, my investorclients are quite bullish about the future prospects of the real estate sector. They are about to start investing in properties soon. Having lied low for some time, I must say, June onwards it’s going to be party time again in the sector.

If things start looking up now, can we expect the industry to hit bloom by the year-end?

spent some time in the office, and its policies will start showing the results.

Would you attribute this change in outlook to internal

factors, or the improved health state of global economy? We have observed in the past also that external factors do have a bearing on the country’s economy, but not to the extent they impact the US or Europe. Here, it is more symbolic in nature than actual one. The nature of savings and the assets holding pattern in India are different from the European countries. From the very childhood, Indian kids are given the habit of saving and planning, whereas in the West they spend the money first, and then wait for their bonus. If someone in India says he is not investing due to bad economy,

That would be a rather hasty conclusion—it may or may not by then. Going by the state of things now, I would say, one should see strong signs of revival in the sector by the end of the current financial year. Plus, by then the new government will have

ICE Connect / iceconnect.eletsonline.com / June 2014

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Realty Check

he is simply unwilling to touch his liquid cash, or doesn’t want to liquidate his other assets due to the market sentiments. The rupee-dollar ratio or global economic changes might affect an NRI, not an average Indian investor. Indian investors had been basically waiting for the elections to happen, monetary policy to stabilise and lending rates to soften.

its promises. It has already put infrastructure development on the top of its agenda. Let’s hope those words translate into action sooner than later.

Any suggestion would you like to make to the new government that could benefit real estate?

Do you foresee changes in lending rates anytime soon, which could bolster activities in the sector? I have been anticipating softening of interest rates for some time now. Earlier, the fixed-rate bank loans were costlier than the floating ones. It was in anticipation of the fact that the RBI would stiffen the rates in future. However, of late, in the last one year or so, the trend has reversed—the fixed rate loans are cheaper now, which is a pointer to softening of lending rates in the days ahead. Accordingly, the consumers are also opting for fixed-rate loans. All these point to the fact that rates are going to fall soon.

Do you feel the norms for construction funding are in shape, or you would like to see some changes there? Developers need funding for construction work, and banks see construction financing as a shortcut to retail loans— the bread and butter for the banking sector. Although construction loans are available at rates varying from 13.5-14 percent to 21-22 percent, depending on the profile and track record of the developer, banks need to be more pro-real estate. Apart from the land and ready unsold properties, banks do not consider under-construction structures or money awaited from some sale while lending. This is probably out of fear that in case of a default, recovery would be difficult. So, the banks need to be more flexible in funding to developers, because that would also be the key to their survival in the mortgage business. The developers have virtually been pushed to the wall in terms of sky-rocketing land prices, various levies on them

41

Sukanya Kumar, Founder & Director RetailLending.com and the low margins of return. It’s time that government stepped in to provide succour to them, so that the industry regains its glory of yesteryear.

PM Narendra Modi has a track record of being pro-development. What all are the expectations of the industry from him? The first thing the Prime Minister needs to take care of is the monetary policy, it’s been too unpredictable, of late—when you expect the repo rates to go down, it would go up, or the vice versa. The government should ensure an element of certainty in its policies. While planning lending, lending institutions need to be assured that their loans would fetch them steady returns at least for the next two-three years, instead of

Since many a time borrowing from banks is not all that easy for the developers, I suggest that the government take some step in this regard – possibly create a Real Estate Fund, or make some allocations – to keep the liquidity flowing into the construction business. If required, the developers can be categorised as per their profile and track record for the purpose of government funding. The government must make some regulation, some policy through which developers can borrow money at lower rates of interest, so that when there is a good project coming up by a developer with a good balance sheet, he does not have to keep running around the bankers alone for fund requirements. If government funding can be made available for other infrastructure projects and departments, why not have a similar arrangement for the real estate as well?

But funding by the government would come with greater government control on the sector... I don’t think government control would be an issue. After all, cheaper money coming the easier way will also

Let cheaper money in “Infrastructure development being on top of the

Modi Govt agenda, it must make some regulation, some policy through which developers can borrow money at lower rates of interest” being always worried about the possible losses due to erratic policy changes. The industry needs to be relaxed that way to focus on the business. Change is always welcome, and like everybody else, I would also like to believe that the new government will deliver on

June 2014 / iceconnect.eletsonline.com / ICE Connect

lead to softening of property prices, thereby benefitting the consumers! Plus, government interventions could also rein in corrupt practices in the sector to some extent, which would prove a money saver for the realtors, benefits of which will again reach the buyers finally. n


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Transport

Caught in a

jam

Inapt urban planning, inadequate investment in transport infrastructure and poor upkeep of urban facilities have left city traffic stuck in tailbacks, writes Nirmal Anshu Ranjan of ENN

T

o matter which hour of the day, as you hit the road for your destination, what greets you without fail is a serpentine and mostly unruly queue of vehicles and all-round traffic chaos. You curse yourself for being caught in the jam when you needed to be speeding up, and you curse the commuters around for coming out of their homes just when you hit the road. India continues to urbanise at a rapid pace, and today the cities are home to about 30 percent of the total population of the country. Given the fast rate of cities turning into centres of innovation and economic growth, by 2030, the urban population is estimated to shoot up

ICE Connect / iceconnect.eletsonline.com / June 2014

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Transport

to about 600 million from 377 million in 2011. This swelling population is putting pressure on already-pressured transport infrastructures in cities. A scary but interesting study by the Ministry of Urban Development, based on a sample of 87 cities suggests that in the next 20 years, the expected travel speed of major corridors of Indian cities would fall from 26-17 kmph to a low of 8-6 kmph. That way, times are not far away when the moving traffic will start crawling, before it finally comes to a standstill, if the present business-asusual state of affairs continues.

in the total fleet of transport in the country has reached about 72 percent and cars close to 10 percent.

Clearing the jam

Although adding and widening of roads alone may not be the panacea for transport-related ailments, experts do agree on the necessity to develop roads in sync with the rising urban population. Unprecedented urbanisation has necessitated

No private vehicles, please! Prime culprits for the meandering tailbacks on the city roads are private vehicles, especially the fourwheelers. Like in other developing countries, Indian neo-rich urbanites have also failed to resist the temptation to flaunt their vehicles, resulting in about 120-million-strong fleet of motorised vehicles eating up the urban road space.

What is further fuelling the trend is an acute inadequacy of public transport system, which also forces commuters to use their own vehicles. This is leading to broader sustainability challenges for both people and environment in terms of lost man-hours due to long travelling times, pressure on scarce fuel reserves, increasing emission of green house gases (GHGs) and fatalities in road accidents.

Search for solutions

As a quick-fix, urban planners very often tend to consider addition of roads or widening the existing ones as a possible solution to the malady. But most experts feel that such measures could be short-lived and that those would only make way for roll-out of more private vehicles. However, there is a broad consensus among the experts over strengthening of public transport infrastructure. An efficient public transport system would encourage greater number of people to switch to mass transports, as it would make their travel cheaper, less time-consuming and therefore, hasslefree. Public transport will also help keep the environment clean and green by curtailing vehicular pollution. Data shows that the share of public transport fleet in the country dropped sharply from 11 percent in 1951 to 1.1 percent by the turn of the century, and that only 20 out of India’s 85 cities with a population of 0.5 million or more had a city bus service by 2009. It is, therefore, no surprise that in the absence of adequate public transport, the share of two-wheelers

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June 2014 / iceconnect.eletsonline.com / ICE Connect

some never-before measures, like Bus Rapid Transit System or BRTS in big cities, and that cannot happen without increasing road density substantially. In 2008, road density in terms of average road length per 1,000 population in the cities of India stood at 0.91 km – much below the 4.86 km average in its own rural areas, taking the national average to 2.88 km. Incidentally, the road density figure for Singapore is 9.2 km, 9.7 km in Curitiba, 21.8 km for Seoul and in Johannesburg it is 9.2 km. That says it all about the kind of road network India needs. In this regard, introduction of Mass Rapid Transit Systems (MRTS), like metro rails and monorails, in various metros of the country have come as a huge relief. Those are cheaper, faster and faster. Talking about Delhi Metro, with peak-hour headway of as little as three minutes, it is an efficient way to get across the city. It boasts of a daily weekday ridership of

Fatal attraction India’s neo-rich urbanites’ temptation to flaunt their vehicles has resulted in about 120-million-strong fleet of motorised vehicles eating up the city’s road space


Transport

2.2 million. It is equipped with a state-of-the-art communication and train control system, modern air-conditioned coaches and ticketing through Automatic Fare Collection System — introduced for the first time in India. It also became the firstever metro and railway system in the world to be registered with the prestigious Gold Standard Foundation, which is a globally-accepted certification standard for carbon mitigation projects.

‘Coercion’ as solution

In addition to these measures, the government also needs to impose certain stringent policies to drive the crowds towards public or shared transport, like car-pooling, instead of using individual cars for daily commuting. The booming Chinese city of Tianjin recently became the fourth metropolis in the country to cap the number of new cars it would allow every year to hit

the roads. This will help China curb pollution and congestion in those cities. Incidentally, one such ‘coercive’ suggestion was mooted by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development (Urban Transport) in 2010, when it recommended a ‘ congestion tax’ on personal vehicles in the form of toll tax in congested areas. But the government indicated that in view of the quantity and quality of the available public transport and absence of an Intelligent Transport System (ITS), levying of congestion tax could be pre-mature at this stage. In the present scenario, it looks like an incentivised, inclusive

Tax brakes Current tax policy regime weighs against public transport – the total tax burden for public transport vehicles per vehicle km is 2.6 times higher than for private vehicles

urban transport policy would work better in India than a coercive China-like move.

Fallacious policies

The present tax policy regime apparently militates against public transport. The total tax burden for public transport vehicles per vehicle km is 2.6 times higher than for private vehicles. Besides, urban transport in India has not been categorised as a subject under any of the three levels of government — central, state or local — to date. In most cities, there are multiple organisations like development authorities, road transport authorities, state transport corporations, public works departments and police services engaged in different aspects of transport regulation, with little coordination among them. Realising the problem, Bangalore has taken the lead in setting up an Urban Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA),

in line with the National Urban Transport Policy 2006 guidelines, to address the challenges of integrated transport planning. Other million-plus metropolises also need to emulate the example to bring about coordination among the various government agencies and other organisations active in the domain. A long period of neglect of urban planning and infrastructure by state governments, coupled with a lack of leadership from the central government, and apathy of the urban local bodies have led to the present crisis-like situation. Insufficient investment in urban infrastructure, poor upkeep of public infrastructure and callous systems of service delivery have all contributed to bringing urban transport to its present state. It is high time we implemented the National Urban Transport Policy for increasing the share of public transport in our cities from 22 percent to 60 percent by the end of the 12th Five Year Plan period (2012-2017). All urban stakeholders need to join hands to put in place a transport system that is viable in short term, sustainable in long term and financially feasible in both. n

ICE Connect / iceconnect.eletsonline.com / June 2014

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Information technology has helped tame indiscipline and corrupt practices in BMTC, says Managing Director Anjum Parwez during a conversation with Kartik Sharma of ENN

IT sets BMTC on fast track Tell us about the major IT initiatives in the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC). The BMTC employs a total of 35,400 people, out of which 32,000 are drivers and conductors. As a common practice, these drivers used to bribe officials to get their leaves sanctioned. Such corrupt practices were getting ingrained in the system. It was then that we felt the need to have a system to curb this menace. We put in place the checks using Information Technology.

RFID-based kiosk system has been developed by Bosch.

on linking the provident funds and medical claims to the system.

How do the workers acquaint themselves with the IT system?

In BMTC, the information technology is primarily being used to manage the leave sanctioning system.

The minimum eligibility for recruitment for the BMTC staff is matriculation. To make the system more user-friendly, it is being developed into a bilingual one. There is almost no need for typing, as most functions have a drop-down menu. Even then, if someone gets stuck, fellow employees can always come to his rescue. We are also working

Also, we were facing problems in figuring out the number of employees who could be sanctioned leave during a given period of time. It was seen that 7-10 percent of employees would go on leave simultaneously. Hence, the system was empowered with the authority to sanction leaves, leaving no gaps for bribes. Ever since, the automated system records information on leave credits related to particular employee accounts.

The idea of mobile function has also been thought of, and we plan to introduce Android apps in the near future, so that if any of the staff members is unable to come to the depot, he can apply for leave via mobile. As of now a staff has to take depot manager’s permission to take leave from outside.

How much does it cost to put in place this infrastructure, and what is the deadline for implementation of this system? On the 40 depots, each kiosk machine cost `4 lakh. It includes hardware, software and maintenance cost for three years. Thus, the total cost would sum up to `160 lakh for the entire system. It is not that much if we consider the system’s benefits. This has increased the efficiency of BMTC. It also gives us the entire picture of the leaves and duty generation. In all, it took six months to come up with the system.

An SMS and a printed receipt are generated showing the grant of permission and credits for the leave. Not more than eight percent of the total staff can be granted leave per day, with a flexibility of two percent in case of emergency, the call for which is taken by the depot manager. The staff can view the leave credits using a Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID) card, wherein the provident fund number is their ID. The entire

Any mobile function is also being introduced, such as Android apps?

How is the IT system managed in BMTC?

Anjum Parwez, MD, BMTC

When I joined the Corporation, there was no dedicated person managing the IT wing. Recently, we created a position

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of the Director-IT. A team headed by Director-IT has been raised to manage all the IT operations of the organisation. Kumar Pushkar is the new Director-IT managing the wing. Now, planning and operation work have been bifurcated.

Tell us about the Intelligent Transport System. An Intelligent Transport System (ITS) has three major components – Global Positioning System (GPS), Electronic Ticketing Machine (ETM) and Public Information System. About 7,000 buses will be tracked by this GPS system. This is going to be the biggest ITS project in the urban transport sector in India. Using all these systems, data will be sent to the data centre. This will facilitate real time tracking and also provide information about real time revenue generation. Then, we have the facility of two-way communication with the driver also. If the driver wants to send messages to the control centre, he can do it easily in an effective manner. All this is connected to a strong backend. We have started a pilot project in Depot No. 2 for the ITS. For public information system, we will put up displays on major bus stops, so that people can have knowledge about bus schedules.

year monthly payment mode. Similarly, for the ITS system, it is purely based on EMI structure for a period of five years. A service-level agreement would be done for ETMs and GPSs. There will also be penalty clauses and all the responsibility of the functioning will be that of the vendors. The payment is linked to performance. ETMs will be used to stop reissuing of tickets and this will also help improve revenue to 5-7 percent.

These days, we hear a lot of cases about women’s harassment. Has BMTC taken any preventive steps?

Then all such data will soon be made available on mobile applications for further convenience. Thus, the real time movement of buses can be tracked. It will also give location of bus stops through a location finder tool in the app. Soon we will link MYBTMC.com to this real time system. There will also be apps for three different platforms - Windows, Android and iOS.

We have done a lot of work on it. Nearly 1,000 CCTV cameras will be installed in buses and bus stops. 500 cameras have already been put on and running perfectly. Our main purpose is to stop all criminal activities. This will be deterrent for mischief. For example, I can say that people now think twice to sit on ladies seat. BMTC is the first organisation in the country to have so many cameras. Acceptability in the Bangalore city is very high so there is least chance of vandalism. Soon Wi-Fi connectivity will also be made available in some airconditioned buses on the airport route. Basically we want that the entire experience of bus traveling to change.

How is the cost structure being handled?

Tell us about the special e-Bus services.

If we consider the leave management system, there is no one-time payment to the vendor. The liability of maintenance lies with the vendor, as there is a three-

First-ever 12-metre electric bus is on trial run for the past three months and people have liked it. There are three important benefits of this bus – zero

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emission, and savings on diesel maintenance. On an average, every person in Bangalore spends about 286 hours per year in traffic. So, the saving of oil for these hours will be a crucial benefit. Moreover, electricity rate is much stable and well regulated, thus saving the operation cost over buses running on diesel. Another aspect is the ambience of these electric buses, which has outclassed other buses. The battery technology has also improved immensely in the recent past. It means that charging of just eight hours can run buses for 280 kilometers. The e-bus got a huge media coverage and a lot is already happening towards its brand promotion.

Have you made any efforts to connect Bangalore Metro Rail with BMTC? Yes. In fact, it is one of our major initiatives. We are going to launch smart cards in BMTC. These smart cards could be used in both BMTC and Bangalore Metro by linking the two. The linking of bus and metro services will make a healthy relationship and be very useful for the travellers. The buses will directly reach metro stations under the second phase of metro. At the major bus stands, we are putting up skyways between bus and metro stations to build up the connectivity. The infrastructural cost can be shared between metro and BMTC. With the launch of the smart card, we will also try to do away with the paper tickets as far as possible. n


Transport

Crowded roads of fast urbanising Chennai call for a rail-based MRT system, and the government has grabbed the opportunity, says CMRL MD Pankaj Kumar Bansal in conversation with Kartik Sharma of Elets News Network

Chennai Metro Rail Need turned into opportunity

What led to Chennai going for the metro rail? The metropolis of Chennai has been growing rapidly and the road traffic volume has also increased in the same proportion. Therefore, the need for a new rail-based mass rapid transport system was being felt. So, the Government of Tamil Nadu decided to imple-

ment the Chennai metro rail project. This project aims at providing the people of Chennai with a fast, reliable, convenient, efficient, modern and economical mode of public transport, which is properly integrated with other forms of public and private transport including buses, suburban trains and other modes of transport.

Tell us something about the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL). The Government of Tamil Nadu created a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for implementing the metro rail project. This SPV, named Chennai Metro Rail Limited, which was incorporated in 2007 under the Companies Act. It has now

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been converted into a joint venture of the Government of India and the state government, with each holding equal amount of equities.

What steps are being taken to ensure a safe and secure metro rail? Passenger safety and security have been given top priority in the metro rail project. Keeping in mind the safety concerns, we have systems in place which ensure that platform gates will open only when a train enters a platform. Similarly, trains can move only when the gates are shut. This reduces chances of accidents. This also helps us save consumption of energy. It is seen that the air-conditioning requirements for tunnel cooling near platform or track area is much higher than what is required for the remaining part, due to the heat generation with the applying of brakes. If we can avoid unnecessary braking near the platform area, it will help in efficient use of energy.

Land disputes or infrastructural issues are associated with most of the big infrastructure projects in our country. How has the CMRL dealt with such issues? We have in our possession most of the land necessary for the project, except one, though with some small litigations here and there. Luckily for us, these small hitches have not hampered our work. This is a public project, so the court takes care of the legalities well. However, some small issues did crop up initially, when some companies engaged by us could not complete their work on time owing to their sluggishness. It forced us to terminate their contract as this was affecting the pace of our project.

Brief us about the much-talked-about energy-efficient airconditioning system in Chennai Metro. We have opted for an air-conditioning system, which is more energy efficient. For example, an air-conditioning system, generally, has two cycles – primary and secondary. There is the need of energy or cooling transiting from one cycle to another. But here, we are focusing on single cycle only. This will save nearly 30 percent of energy compared to the previously used air-conditioning systems, thus boosting the concept of energy efficiency.

Metro rail stations in Delhi and Kolkata have various shades of art and culture engraved on their walls. Planning something similar? We have some ideas for adding beauty to our stations. Every station will be displaying various art forms and glimpses of different cultures. For example, I can tell you that if one station adorns the photos of classical Bharatnatyam dance, others could be showcasing flowers or wildlife, particularly those associated with our state.

Parking is a major issue. How does CMRL plan to handle this problem? Also, tell us about the CMRL’s bicycle parking and renting initiative. We are trying to do things differently in Chennai. There are separate sub-lines inside our stations for pick-up and drop points or vehicle parking. This will result in fewer chances of choking of main roads near the metro stations. There will also be escalator system in place, which will be connected to the parking areas. We are also providing separate space for cycle parking within the sta-

It's different! “We are trying to do things differently in Chennai… We are providing separate space for cycle parking within the (metro) station premises. We have tied up with the Chennai Municipal Corporation for procuring free cycles”

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Pankaj Kumar Bansal MD, Chennai Metro Rail Ltd tion premises. We have tied up with the Chennai Municipal Corporation for procuring free cycles.

Before moving in to the CMRL, you have held several top posts in the government. How do you find working for the metro rail? I thank the government for giving me the opportunity to work for this project. I am happy to be a part of the CMRL as I have handled similar projects for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the World Bank. I have also worked earlier in the major infrastructure projects, like Hogenakkal water supply project, which was a `2,000-crore project.

What are the core values that the CMRL practises? We are alert to provide safe, clean, reliable and courteous services to our customers. We also have sustainable development and minimal emission of the green house gases in our focus. Trust is an important attribute for us, and we are committed to honour the trust reposed in us by the people at large. And yes, creativity and innovation does excite us. n


Transport

The Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Ltd performs lot many roles with only one objective in focus – to keep people going, says DIMTS MD & CEO Sanjiv N Sahai in a conversation with Nayana Singh and Rama Sinha of ENN

‘We help people move’ Tell us about the origin and core operations of DIMTS. The Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Ltd (DIMTS) came into being as an effort of collaboration between the Delhi Government and a not-for-profit organization, the Infrastructure Development Finance Company Foundation (IDFC). Essentially, the engagement of the IDFC and DIMTS was to provide an enabling environment to enhance managerial competence. Management company tools were included, so that DIMTS was not hamstrung and had the agility and flexibility that the private sector has, and at the same time, it displayed the accountability of the public sector. DIMTS has evolved well in the last seven years. The work of the organisation includes Intelligence Transport System (ITS), advisory services (doing feasibility studies for projects), help structure PPP projects for concession agreements, financial modeling, contracting etc. We also have an engineering division which is engaged in detailed engineering drawings, designs, feasibility studies, soil investigation and project management.

What is the contribution of DIMTS to the transportation sector? The railways division of DIMTS provides engineering services to railways sites such as track alignment. A very important component of DIMTS is our transportation and traffic studies where we have lots of simulation about various

cities. We have come up with Comprehensive Mobility Plan, looking at the cities as a whole. For example, if people have to wait at a certain traffic junction, then how it would affect the traffic at the given location can be simulated. Once the then united Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) wanted to construct an underpass at Dayal Chowk. We did a simulation and showed to the government that the underpass would actually worsen the traffic situation at a couple

of more places. On seeing the simulation, they shelved the project, thus saving the government an unnecessary expenditure of `70-80 crore. In this case, the intervention of the DIMTS helped the Delhi Government. DIMTS acts as programme manager for the transport department also. The orange colour busses running in Delhi, which are about 1,200 in number, are functioning under the Cluster Bus

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Scheme. The entire scheduling, fare collection, service level management and on-time performances are taken care of by us. We monitor and manage them. It is done through an intensive IT system, which helps about 1.2 million or 12,000,00 passengers travel conveniently every day. This system is far more efficient than the DTC buses even cost wise. We also do Intelligent Signalling. This is being done in a number of Indian cities, apart from the BRT Corridor in New Delhi.

“…Public transport should be used for bulk of trips. Studies show private vehicles generate 25 percent of the air pollutants… We should try to bring about a shift in the mindset of the people, so that they get ready to use public transport in day-to-day life”

accountability comes from the Board of Directors, which includes the Chief Secretary as its Chairman, and the Principal Secretary as its Member Finance. I think this kind of model works well. Old school audits or vigilance approach cannot work in these models. So, the DIMTS model works best.

Tell us about the online initiatives of DIMTS and how they benefit the people.

What kind of work has DIMTS done in the other states of India and abroad?

DIMTS has started several online initiatives so as to make travelling easier for the people. The bus info application is for those multitudes of people who commute by buses every day. Our GPSenabled transit mode will prove useful for all bus users, including the relatively new users. As you enter one of the bus junctions, it will give you all the relevant details, like expected arrival time of the buses, available routes, fares, etc. DIMTS has also introduced user-friendly applications like Tell Tail. The panic press button is another such application. There are many such applications available in the market. But our application’s uniqueness lies in the fact that one does not have to have a GPS-enabled phone. If a Delhi public transport commuter just informs about the vehicle number to someone in which he or she is traveling, that person can keep a track of that bus’ whereabouts. It lessens the anxiety and this information is very useful for the relatives and friends to locate the traveller.

You have served the government sector in various capacities. Has your experience of working with the government sector complemented the DIMTS role? 99 percent of the people working in DIMTS come from the private sector. This segment of the workforce does not understand government processes. My previous work experiences with the

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Sanjiv N Sahai MD & CEO, DIMTS public sector have helped me develop a deep understanding of the work procedure followed by the government sector. Also, I am well-known in the government circle, which helps me in my communications with them. There is a trust factor which is a natural outcome of working together for several years. A person from the private sector may have found it a little difficult, especially in the initial stages. DIMTS has been created in a way that it has benefits of both public and private sectors. We have the talent pool of the private sector and the accountability of a government organisation. That

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We have moved ahead as an organization and established our reach in a number of Indian cities and even abroad. We won the bid for designing the BRT Corridor in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia after rejecting bids from the UK and Germany. We are providing Intelligent Signalling in Surat, Rohtak and in a few towns of Madhya Pradesh. A lot of advisory services are also being provided to the Himachal Pradesh monorail project by us. We now want to spread our wings as well as share our leanings with others. DIMTS has become a model of study for many foreign countries. Recently, we received delegations from Sri Lanka and Egypt. Some of the delegations were sponsored by the World Bank.

What is your vision for the transportation sector and what is the roadmap for its development? Our vision is that the public transport should be used for bulk of the trips. Studies show private vehicles generate 25 percent of air pollutants. Our dream of sustainable inclusive development can be achieved only through public transport. Every living city has public spaces, like parks, city centres and other public areas for social interactions. We should discuss and try to bring about a shift in the mindset of the people, so that they get ready to use public transport in day-to-day life. n


Tech Talk

As Autodesk unveiled its 2015 Design Suites in India, Souvik Goswami of Elets News Network caught up with Sunil MK, Head Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) Division of the company, to know more about its latest offerings

Building Designing redefined What are the unique features of Autodesk Revit and Autodesk Green Building Studio? Autodesk Revit is specifically built for Building Information Modelling (BIM), empowering design and construction professionals to develop ideas from concept to construction stage with a coordinated and consistent model-based approach. Revit is a single application that includes features for architectural design, MEP and structural engineering and construction. Autodesk Revit is all about having entire information in almost real time scenario. It gives the picture of finishes and minute details of construction project at the conception stage itself. This detailed information can then be used for analysis and simulation purposes. To me, sustainability of green means optimisation, and not just energy efficiency. If we can save even 10 percent of the labour cost, it should be classified as green. Saving of materials is optimi-

sation. We have to keep in mind that material is scarce. Cement and steel are all scarce materials. One just cannot afford to waste them.

How does a BIM software help developers or contractors address the issues of cost and time during construction? In the construction industry ecosys-

In this context, Autodesk Green Building Studio plays an important role. With help of the information embedded in the Autodesk Revit model, we take the analysis further with the help of Autodesk Green Building Studio software. It allows us to do solar study, weather simulation, helps us in calculating carbon footprint, gives alternative energy options for a particular building and much more. I may say that these software help in making early intelligent decisions for making a project sustainable and energy efficient.

Sunil MK, Head - Architecture, Engineering & Construction Division, Autodesk India

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tem, things move in a different pattern compared to manufacturing or automobile industry. In case of a major automobile company, for example, they control the entire production, right from design to the manufacturing level. But in the construction industry, owners often leave the responsibility with the consultants, whose work is often fragmented. So, if delay happens, it is finally the owners who suffer. It is important for them to understand that technology can help them do the projects within given timelines and budget. Plus, use of technology can help in fixing problems at the design stage itself. The power of BIM can bring substantial benefits for the owners.

BIM software has moved to 5D and 6D levels. Please share with us the latest offerings of Autodesk. Autodesk is the only company which offers complete solutions. We are able to do analysis right at the design stage. That can save time and cost at the construction stage. That is about 4D and 5D. We also offer the 6D technology, which is all about sustainability. Revit has the ability to work maintaining optimum time and cost. Apart from this, Autodesk also has a product called Navisworks, which helps in simulation. One can also see whether plan and actual would be the same or not. Navisworks also helps in project management.

How do you see the current market scenario of BIMs in

India and Autodesk’s position in the market? We are mature players in this domain. We coined the term “BIM” in 2002. Initially we had only Revit, but later we added other features and connected with various facility management tools. We have BIM 360, which allows one to commission the project onsite issues and challenges with regard to space, material or labour management. So, we have successfully connected all the dots in a building’s lifecycle, and today BIM is an effective platform for all in the construction ecosystem.

Autodesk is associated with various government projects in India. Tell us about some of them. I believe that almost everybody associated with the building or infrastructure industry uses our products. We are actually advocating evangelizing 3D BIM, so that people can go to the next level and efficiently deliver projects. IGI Airport, Mumbai International Airport, Bangalore International Airport and other big projects have been done with

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the help of BIM. People are realising the benefits of BIM and 3D design. I think government should move a step forward and take cues from countries like the UK, the US and Singapore, and make BIM mandatory for government projects. This software can help prevent loss of money incurred in project delays. Technology will also bring more transparency and eventually fetch greater investments.

What is your vision with regard to Autodesk’s designing operations in India? Our vision is to help our architects, engineers and consultants leapfrog to this new paradigm of design. And, doing this will not be a difficult task. Telecom, banking and many other sectors have done this successfully worldwide. They have moved ahead by almost 20-30 years through adoption of Information Technology. It is also possible in the Indian infrastructure sector. We can develop worldclass infrastructure and facilities which will prove beneficial for our population at large. n


Power Talk

Agenda for new govt

Turning lights on Owing to half-hearted efforts by successive governments at the Centre, the power sector is afflicted with a plethora of problems today. K S Narayanan gives a thought to what all the new government needs to do to set the things right

W

ith thumping victory and clear mandate, the Narendra Modi-led NDA Government seems all set to deliver on its commitments. However, the fact of the matter is the new government has an unenviable task of putting the economy - stuck in the rut of low growth - back on track. From controlling inflation, putting brakes on rupee devaluation, creating jobs to ensuring proper power supply and tack-

ling terror, the government has its task cut out. Expectations of the people are high and they want it all done in literally no time. But what needs to be accorded top priority by the government among the various burning challenges is tackling the energy crisis that India faces today. A vibrant energy sector is sure to act as a catalyst for socio-economic development. However, much would depend on the  Modi-led government’s first budget which is likely to be presented in the first week of

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July. The budget, expected to help the economy claw out of crippling slowdown, will also focus on the power sector.

State of affairs

India is the world’s fifth largest electricity generator with a total installed capacity of 2.34 lakh MW. Out of this, 90,062 MW is from state-owned utilities, 72,927 MW from privately-owned utilities and 65,733 MW from the central government-owned utilities. The investment inflow from private players presents an encouraging prospect for the electricity sector. India’s demand for electricity has grown rapidly over the last two decades, basically on account of industrial growth as well as a general increase in household consumption. Not that supply of energy has not grown all these years, but it has been outstripped by demand. India derives most of its electricity from fossil fuels, primarily from coal (it has 20,381 MW of capacity on coal which is 59 percent of the total capacity). India also derives considerable amount of electricity from hydro power sources. The power sector framework in India is quite strong beginning with the Electricity Act of 2003 with an aim of restructuring the State Electricity Boards (SEBs), creating an independent regu-

Who lights India? India is the world’s fifth largest electricity generator with a total installed capacity of 2.34 lakh MW, of which 90,062 MW is from state-owned utilities, 72,927 MW from privately-owned facilities and 65,733 MW from the central government-owned utilities great deal of significance today as it is in dealing with these issues that there lies the success of not only the power sector but also India’s growth story, which of late has taken a hit. Despite the 2.34 lakh MW installed capacity, power distribution at the retail level is both dismal and unaffordable. What is worrying is that high electricity losses in India during transmission and distribution is about 24 percent. According to experts, India needs to tide over a peak-power shortfall of 13 percent between 5pm and 11pm by reducing losses due to pilferage. As a result of such huge T&D losses, the estimated losses the SEBs have incurred is pegged at Rs 2.5 lakh crore. Theft of electricity, common in urban India, amounts to 1.5 percent of India’s GDP. Due to shortage of electricity, power cuts are common throughout the country, and this has adversely affected the country’s economic growth. The condition of utilities are not good either, as cumulative losses of 110 power utilities are estimated at Rs 86,136 crore and it is expected to rise up to Rs 1,16,089 crore by 2014-15. Despite an ambitious rural electrification programme, some 400 million Indians lose electricity access during blackouts. While 84.9 percent of Indian villages have at least the electricity line, just 46 percent of rural households have access to electricity.

latory mechanism, delicensing generation, facilitating private entry and encouraging competition, trading and consumer protection. Besides, the government has also announced policies for national electricity, tariff, rural electrification and integrated energy. Regulators have streamlined tariff setting, and issued orders for private entry, trading, competitive bidding, grid discipline, market development and promotion of renewables. Despite these factors, the power sector at present has been plagued by nearly half-a-dozen negative factors like the coal block allocation scam, inordinate delays in environment and forest clearances, lack of transparency in fixing gas prices and political sops in the form of power subsidy. These contentious issues must be resolved. This would send positive signals to both domestic and global investors and financial institutions to look at the power sector a new vision.

Memo to new minister

The new power minister would have to familiarise himself not only with the power sector framework but also come up with a clear road map to drive the sector forward. This acquires a

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What has further plagued the power sector was a sharp drop in gas production from Reliance Industries’ eastern offshore KG-D6 basin that saw a dozen power plants with nearly 3,000 MW of generation capacity shutting operations and a similar number not being able to be commissioned. Also the new government must take stringent action for over drawing from discoms. The massive grid failure that plunged in 2012 should be avoided and new government must enforce grid discipline.

Bottom line

All these issues are tricky. It should be resolved at the highest levels of decision making. Mechanisms like Group of Ministers or constituting a new Energy Commission to take a holistic view of the sector could help matters. Though it is easier said than done, the new government must take states into confidence as ‘Electricity’ is a concurrent subject. Distribution reform, grid discipline, open access, rural electrification, empowering state regulators and so on are mainly the business of state governments. However, the central government can play a crucial role as an enabler and facilitator. n


Power Talk

With an intention of exploring the hidden hydro power potential of the country, Jindal Steel and Power Limited has undertaken several power projects across the country. In an interview, Jayant Kawale, Managing Director, Jindal Hydro and Renewables, divulges its strategies to Gautam Debroy of ENN

Advantage hydro

‘Trusted, cheaper cleaner’ Through expansion of Jindal Steel and Power in hydro, what new you are planning to bring in? In what other renewable initiatives is the company involved? Jindal Power has started with the thermal sector and Jindal Power Limited is a 100 percent subsidiary of the Jindal Steel and Power. We have already acquired an operating capacity of 1,000MW at Tamnar in Chhattisgarh. At Tamnar itself we had taken up expansion by 2,400MW, out of which two units of 600MW have already been commissioned and commercial operation started. Third and fourth

units have also been commissioned (synchronized) and the commercial operation will start soon. We have also planned other projects in the thermal sector in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. In 2008, our company had also said that we should not be restricted to the thermal projects and also look at other sources of power including hydro. So, in Arunachal Pradesh we got three projects, which are expected to come up in joint venture with an AP Government entity, called Hydro Power Development Corporation of Arunachal Pradesh .

Brief us about your power projects in Arunachal Pradesh. Originally, at the time of allotment, the capacity was 4,000MW for Etalin project, 500MW for Attunli project and 1,600MW hydroelectric power for Subansiri Middle. Now, after we have prepared the Detailed Project Report (DPR), these capacities have been revised. The capacity of Etalin project now stands at 3,097MW, Attunli at 680MW and Subansiri Middle (Kamla project) at 1,800 MW. We also have a small hydro

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project called Annonpani, which will initially supply construction power to Etalin project with a capacity of 22MW. So, that is the portfolio that we have. The DPR of two projects (Etalin and Kamla) have already been submitted to the Central Electrical Authority (CEA), of which Etalin has already been approved by the CEA, while Kamla is still under examination. Attunli DPR has been prepared and we will submit it shortly. Annonpani DPR has been submitted to the State government for approval. All our work for the environmental clearance has been done.

In Arunachal, there is huge hue and cry over power projects. What challenges you are facing there? At present, there are no challenges before the Etalin project. We have had extensive discussions with the affected people and addressed all their concerns to their satisfaction. Unlike in the case of Lower Subansiri, where the project touches two bordering states - Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, which caused much concern for Assam - our project is about 200 km away from Assam. So, whatever effect of this project, it would not impact Assam.

What is the employment potential of your power initiatives in Northeast? Our power projects will create employment opportunities not only in Arunachal Pradesh but also in Assam. The population in the area is so sparse that even if we appoint all of them, we will still need many more. People from the rest of the country will also get employment opportunities there. We will require good logistics and infrastructure, including river navigation, which nowadays is quite necessary. We are already working with the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) to see what facilities will be required for our logistics. All our projects will ensure that infrastructure in that part of country improves. We are in constant touch with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to widen and improve the roads. In telecom sector also we are working with the Ministry of Telecom-

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Green power “Hydro makes non-consumptive use of water,

whereas in thermal, the water used is lost. Hydro has another advantage that unlike coal, it doesn’t pollute. As for wind and solar power, the later is costly and available for only about five-six hours a day, if not stored, and power from wind is highly uncertain”

munications and BSNL to ensure that mobile connectivity improves.

encouraging hydro is the necessity from a long-term perspective.

Do you think India has good potential for hydro plants? How is it comparable to other genres of power plants?

If we talk about renewable power, that is wind and solar, the later takes costly devices and is available for only about five-six hours a day, if not stored in a grid. On the other hand, wind has a very uncertain story. Unlike solar power, where you can predict, in case of wind, you can’t predict about power. Its availability is greater in the Monsoon.

Compare thermal with hydro - we have reached a situation where a large portion of required coal needs to be imported. Although we have a large reserve of coal, we are not able to explore it properly due to various reasons. And, as we are dependent on coal, ultra mega power projects are running into troubles like the one Mundra is in. That’s a major cause of concern as far as thermal is concerned. Now, if you compare thermal with hydro, hydro makes non-consumptive use of water, whereas thermal consumes water, as the water used is lost. Today, hydro has a big advantage, whereas coal creates pollution. Apart from pollution, the other aspect is disturbances to the ecology. Whenever you do any project – whether it is a road project, mining, hydro or a thermal project, there will be some disturbance to the ecology. The Planning Commission has projected that by 2032, our power requirement will reach 800,000MW. So,

June 2014 / iceconnect.eletsonline.com / ICE Connect

You have experiences the previous governments. Do you think the new government can help improve the hydro power scenario in the country? At least Mr Narendra Modi has made some statements in favour of hydro power generation in the country. He has talked about the necessities and possibilities of combining the objective of infrastructure, economic development and sustainable environment. These are positive signs, because one of the main issues of holding back the hydro power development is the uncertainty regarding our environment policy, procedures and processes. I hope the new government will see that the entire process is streamlined. n


Power Talk

We have brought down power losses to 10 percent from 53 percent, claims S K Saini, Chief-Commercial, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited, in an interaction with ENN’s Gautam Debroy

‘Holes PLUGGED’ How is Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) contributing to the capital’s power distribution system?

What is your outlook on the power sector in India? For any developing country, power is a vital factor. With India also being a developing nation, it also needs to pay attention to revamping the power sector to meet the growing demands. But I personally feel we are lagging behind in our initiatives, possibly due to political reasons. Unless power infrastructure is improved, we can’t see a growing India. Even though our installed capacity is fourth-largest in the world, we are not comparable with countries like the US, China and Russia. Perhaps, there are some structural drawbacks in our system. But I am confident that the new regime at the Centre would give much more emphasis on the power sector.

Can you elaborate on the structural changes necessary to boost the power sector? As power is a vital and critical factor for our country, there should be a positive push to ensure that it is driven in the right direction. Although allocations are made, the focus is missing. The government needs to have greater engagement with the private sector. What is happening now is that most of the private players are hesitant to invest in the power sector owing to numerous hurdles and lack of initiatives on the part of the government. Conducive atmosphere needs to be created to attract greater private investment in the power sector.

Short-circuit “Even though our installed capacity is fourth-largest

If you have a look at the erstwhile performance of the Delhi Electricity Supply Board (DESB), you will be able to understand what kind of difference we have made. Before 2002, when TPDDL was not on the scene, there would be up to 53 percent losses, for example, if one demanded power worth `100, one would pay only `47. The losses might have been even more, as there was no accounting system then. Given the huge losses, initially we had to survive only on the government support in terms of loans, grants, subsidies etc. In July 2002, when we took over, reliability was only 70 percent, whereas it’s 99.94 percent today. Subsequently, huge capital investment was injected into the system for revamping the network, so that there is reliability about continuous power supply. All the big industries and business houses using the Distributed Generation (DG) process previously to meet their power demands stopped using the DG sets system. That’s the kind of change we have made. We have also brought down transmission and distribution losses to 10 percent, thereby saving about `10,000 crore for the Government of Delhi.

in the world, we are in no comparison with the West. Perhaps, some structural drawbacks in the system are Like other power supply and distribution companies, do blowing the fuse” ICE Connect / iceconnect.eletsonline.com / June 2014

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Power Talk

you also face problems on the financial front? Basically, the problem is that the tariffs are not cost effective, as it does not represent the exact costs of power purchase and distribution. This leaves revenue gaps. Although this revenue gap is recognised by the regulator, the distribution companies have to struggle for getting the finances to bridge those gaps. Arranging the finances till now for TPDDL hasn’t been much of an issue because of its credentials and because we brought down the losses from 53 percent to 10 percent by achieving beyond the trajectory given by the regulator.

having metres installed. We were facing losses in those areas. So, to get the support of the people in those areas, we started life insurance coverage for them. People with metres in their home were given `1 lakh insurance policy. We also started a drug de-addiction initiative; our people would go for counseling in the slum areas and give them medicine.

You have also been associated with sustainability work. What exactly are the initiatives undertaken by the Tata Power DDL in this domain?

We have also set up 170 education centres to give proper education to the

We have almost 500 schools registered with us where as many as 5

We had taken up the initiative to spread the message of energy conservation through school children. We set up school clubs.

Your hobbies include innovations. Does it also include commercial innovations for TPDDL? When we took over this project from the state-run utility, we went through a series of innovative processes. Apart from modernising poor infrastructure, we have also improved the customer relationship management by taking all the stakeholders into confidence, and built up a cohesive environment in our licensed area – we started meeting the Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) and cross-sections of the society to seek their suggestions to improve our services. We have set up more than 5,000 centres for the customers to pay their bills, and replaced at least 14 lakh metres with electronic metres to ensure that there are no leakages in the system. We have also introduced highlyrecognized Systems Applications and Products Industry Solutions – Utilities (SAP-ISU) billing system.

Is it true that your innovations have been recognised by the Harvard University? Harvard University students had come and they recognised one of our innovations. In 2008, we had started concentrating on Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses reduction, as we found that there were neglected clusters and under-privileged segments within our license area, like JJ colony and others. While they were consuming electricity, they did not pay bills for not

Loose connection “Most private players are hesitant to invest in the

power sector owing to various hurdles and lack of government initiatives. Conducive atmosphere should be created to attract greater private investment”

people living in those slums. These initiatives have improved our collection from `12 crore per annum to `100 crore per annum. We had spent `1.5 crore on CSR activities last year, and our board had approved ` 8 crore for this year. It was because of these initiatives that we got applause from the Harvard University and from the office of the UK Prime Minister.

lakh students are educated about the benefits of energy conservation from time to time. Especially during the summers, children visit every reachable neighbourhood to spread the message of energy conservation. We are also engaged in tree plantation. We planted almost 30,000 trees last year. We also do water harvesting wherever feasible. n

ICE Connect / iceconnect.eletsonline.com / June 2014

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