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Sustainable habitats for all communities a necessity for India: Green Building Congress 2012
Hyderabad, October 31 - While chairing a panel discussion on "Sustainable habitat for all communities by 2025" on the second day of IGBC"s Green Building Congress 2012 here, Mr. V. Suresh, Chairman, Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) Advocacy Committee said, the need of the hour is for the Government, architects and industry bodies to work together to make the green building movement a success. He also spoke about how the industry needs to raise awareness about green buildings in order to help people make informed choices.

Mr. Neerabh Kumar Prasad, IAS, Metropolitan Commissioner, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) said Hyderabad has always been at the forefront of the Green Initiative. He mentioned that HMDA"s planning initiatives have been looked at holistically to ensure that water, energy and space are considered together in order to reduce our carbon footprint. He also stressed that HMDA is keen to work with the Council of Architects, IGBC and other organisations to promote the green building movement.

Mr. NVS Reddy, Managing Director, Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd., said that the goal of the metro rail in Hyderabad is to provide an integrated means of transport. He said that the plan also includes skywalks under the elevated rails as well as bicycle tracks that will help in lowering carbon emissions.

Mr. Reddy added that the Uniform Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) has been formed which will help in providing integrated travel cards for travel within the city.

Mr. SP Gon Chaudhuri, Member, Tripura State Planning Board, Govt. of Tripura spoke about the dearth of green buildings in rural India. He said, it was essential to concentrate on rural areas and equip people there with knowledge on how to capture solar energy for their needs and to design their homes to allow adequate daylight to enter.

Dr. Chandrashekhar Hariharan, Executive Chairman, BCIL, spoke about protecting our ecosystems both in urban and rural areas. He said that it was imperative that we stop using long distance energy and water supply systems. He spoke about investing in research to come up with solutions to energy and water problems.

Mr. Satish Jamdar, Managing Director, Blue Star Ltd., spoke about CII"s role in taking affirmative action in ensuring that there is equality in how people can gain from the green building movement. Since air conditioners and refrigerators are a major consumer of energy, focusing on energy efficiency was crucial, he added.

Ar. CN Raghavendran, Partner, CR Narayana Rao Architects & Engineers, said that architects should play a bigger role in advocacy. According to Mr. Raghavendran, architects" professional training puts them in a good position to make suggestions to government bodies and they should work with them to improve guidelines. .

Prof. Ashok B. Lall, Principal Architect, Ashok B Lall Associates discussed how architects are the right people who can visualize and design buildings, keeping in mind the needs of the future. He said that architects need to prepare for the future by creating simple designs that are efficient.

Ar. Jaffer Khan, Founder Principal & Director, Jaff Design Studio, said that it is imperative that green building techniques be a part of the curriculum for training architects. He stressed the importance of training the younger generation of architects in the science on green buildings.

Ms. Elena Berger, AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, US DoE discussed the US-India partnership on energy. She said that sustainability is a challenge but also provides a great opportunity for change. The US-India PACE (Partnership to Advance Clean Energy) was put together by the leaders of both countries and will be the framework within which India and the US can work together she said.

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