Development and environment conservation should go hand in hand – Vice President

New Delhi, October 29, 2020: The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu today said that it is time to consider making all new buildings to mandatorily go green and environment friendly.
He suggested to the governments, Finance Commissions and local bodies to encourage green buildings by way of tax incentives and other measures.
Inaugurating the CII’s Green Building Congress 2020 through virtual mode today, the Vice President emphasised that not only new buildings, but the existing buildings too should be retrofitted to make them environment-friendly by adopting green practices that promote energy efficiency and water conservation.
He termed the sustainable buildings as an important component in building resilient communities and called for extensive use and promotion of low carbon technologies.
“We not only need a stronger India but also a greener India,” he added.
Drawing attention to the increasing number of extreme climate events such as droughts, floods, wildfires, Naidu said that climate change is as real as daylight and countries all over the world must adopt drastic and revolutionary measures to mitigate the problem of global warming.
Calling for a sustainable approach to development, the Vice President said that the challenge before us is how do you marry both development and environment.
“If we take care of nature, the nature in turn will take care of the mankind,” he said.
He stated that buildings and construction account for 39% of energy related CO2 emissions in the world and wanted the process of total de-carbonization of the built environment to be accelerated.
Describing the concept of green building, Naidu said that apart from energy efficiency, it seeks to ensure water efficiency, use of renewable energy, promote waste reduction and encourage the use of environment-friendly local materials.
He emphasised that the construction material we use today should be sustainable and environment-friendly —it should not in any way jeopardize the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
The Vice President also highlighted the need to create awareness on the urgency of promoting green buildings concept among the people.
In this regard, he advised India Green Building Council to launch a campaign for promoting ‘Net Zero Carbon Buildings’.
He also wanted the urban planners and bodies like Builders Association of India, CREDAI to be involved in the campaign.
It may be noted that a net zero carbon building is highly energy efficient and fully powered by on-site and/or off-site renewable energy sources.
Highlighting the pace of rapid urbanisation in the country, he opined that sustainable development should become a critical part of our nation building.
It should be realized that it cannot be business as usual in regard to combating global warming, he added.
Mentioning the programs such as Smart Cities Mission and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) the Vice President said that the main motto of the Government of India is to make cities livable centers of growth.
He expressed happiness that India with over 7.61 billion sq.ft of green building footprint is amongst the top 5 countries in the world and lauded the role of all stakeholders in building a greener and healthier India.
Maintaining that India has the potential to lead the Global Green Building Movement, Naidu said that there is a need for a concerted push on this front by both the private players and the government.
He appreciated CII for working with State Governments and developers for the implementation of green concepts in affordable housing projects and urged the construction sector to work with the governments in building a greener, healthier and prosperous India.
Naidu also complimented CII for developing ‘Guidelines for Combating COVID-19 in Green Buildings’ and said that the good work should continue and the Government and Industry should work together in achieving the country’s green mission.
Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, the Vice President said that India lives in its villages and if India has to grow, our villages have to be prosperous and should have access to all basic amenities like the urban areas.
Going green in villages would mean access to hygiene, health, sanitation, energy, water and education, he said.
Naidu expressed satisfaction over the CII initiatives for implementation of green measures in 24 villages in 11 states and wanted the CII to expand its foot print to more number of villages and states.
The Vice President launched a coffee table book and Rating systems .
Jamshyd N Godrej, V Suresh, Chandrajit Banerjee, Gurmit Singh Arora, green building professionals, officials of CII, engineers, developers, builders and architects participated in the virtual event.

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