by Akhilesh K. Prasad
The real estate sector is said to be responsible for 22% of India’s annual CO2 emissions. It, therefore, is a major contributor to the deterioration of air quality and global warming. Globally, construction industry uses 30% of all available natural material and 20% of water resources. It also causes soil erosion, contamination and pollutes the air with asbestos particles and dust. It is a major contributor to noise pollution as well.
Of late, the industry has shown an inclination towards greener alternatives by promoting the use of precast concrete, reinforced hollow concrete blocks, gabian or GFRG walls, and Mivan Shuttering etc. Alternative materials such as fly ash, AAC blocks, gypsum plaster, bio-enzymes, and curing compounds are also being used to reduce pollution. Developers are giving due consideration to the natural topography in their residential complex plans so that biodiversity and green cover are not compromised.
Lately, Naya Raipur in Chhattisgarh is being developed as the first Greenfield Smart City in India. 27% of the total land is solely devoted to greenery. The city has smooth and safe cycling lanes to promote the use of non-motorized transport. Every building in Naya Raipur will have a rain-water harvesting system. The Naya Raipur Development Authority (NRDA) is maintaining 55 reservoirs in the region inclusive of three lakes. Green buildings use less water, optimize energy, conserve natural resources and emit less waste. Public buildings in Naya Raipur will follow this Green Building concept.
The city also boasts of an underground utility corridor, inclusive of water supply, sewerage, telecom, electricity, and a gas pipeline which will be tracked by a SCADA system for faults and timely repairs. NRDA is also in the process of developing an efficient garbage disposal and waste management system.
Apart from recreational facilities like amusement parks, water sports facilities, club house, a sports village, and a dedicated cultural village, Naya Raipur also boasts of a botanical garden and a jungle safari that was inaugurated in November 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Nandanvan Zoo and safari is located 35 kilometres away from Raipur and is the biggest man-made Jungle Safari of Asia spreading over 800 acres of land in Naya Raipur. There are separate zones within the Nandanvan Zoo for carnivorous and herbivorous animals. The objective of the project is to create awareness about wildlife, conservation of wildlife species as well as the biodiversity of the state, while simultaneously promoting recreation.
There are several benefits of such green infrastructure. It is energy efficient, water conservational, and has low operational cost. There is less stress on utilities and reduction in pollution levels. Green planning reduces wastage of soil and water. When the resources for construction are locally sourced, carbon footprint and cost of transportation are also reduced.