By Accommodation Times Bureau
Hardeep Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has called for a paradigm shift in technology transition using large scale construction under PMAY (U) as an opportunity to get the best available construction technologies across the globe.
Launching “Global Housing Technology Challenge-India” (GHTC- India) on Monday, Puri envisioned to source technologies from all over the world and identify such technologies which would be suitable for adoption in India. Amitabh Kant, CEO NITI Aayog, Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Housing & Urban Affairs, Amrit Abhijat, Joint Secretary & Mission Director (HFA), MoHUA, senior officers of the Ministry, besides various stakeholders in the construction industry were also present at the launch.
GHTC- India intends to get best globally available innovative construction technologies through a challenging process. It seeks to demonstrate and deliver ready to live-in houses in a shorter time, with lower cost and quality construction in a sustainable manner. It also seeks to promote future technologies, to foster an environment of research and development in the country.
Pointing out that the conventional system of housing construction is time-consuming as well as resource intensive, Puri emphasized that there are a need to look for new emerging, disaster-resilient, environment friendly, cost-effective and speedy construction technologies. “The shift in technology transition will also address the challenges of large-scale housing construction in minimum time and cost with optimum use of resources and environment-friendly practices”, he added.
GHTC-India has been conceptualized to enable the paradigm shift required in the construction sector in the country. GHTC-India will bring change, both in the perception as well as the manner in which construction of houses is done. The challenge has three components viz. i) Conduct of Grand Expo-cum-Conference, ii) Identifying Proven Demonstrable Technologies from across the world and iii) Promoting Potential Technologies through setting up incubation centres at selected IITs and organizing accelerator workshops under the Affordable Sustainable Housing Accelerators- India (ASHA-India) Program.
Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, MoHUA said that all stakeholders involved in building construction industry, technology providers, construction agencies, developers and technical institutes would participate in the Challenge. He stated that MoHUA has been implementing Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U) Mission to provide all-weather “pucca” houses to eligible beneficiaries by the year 2022. Against the validated demand of about one crore housing units to be constructed by the year 2022, MoHUA has so far sanctioned around 70 lakh houses, out of which around 37 lakh have been grounded and around 15 lakh completed and allotted to beneficiaries.
To ensure a robust process, MoHUA conducted a series of consultations with State/UT governments, IITs, technology providers and other relevant stakeholders to identify broad reasons for slow and limited adoption of innovative and alternative construction technologies for affordable housing. Based on the feedback received and subsequent deliberations, the issues identified include, ensuring the suitability of foreign technologies for Indian conditions, certification and standardization including the requirement of proper specifications and codes, challenges in the procurement processes, and the necessary policy support to synergize both demand and supply. In addition, deliberations also included issues of knowledge transfer, access to raw materials and scale of demand for large scale uptake by entrepreneurs/ organizations. Typically conventional construction systems (such as the use of brick and mortar) are slow paced, energy intensive, dependent on natural resources and have a large carbon footprint. They use low levels of mechanization and have a high dependence on manual labour. A concerted effort is required to create mass awareness to accept a technology transition from conventional to new technologies through lighthouse projects, expositions and other outreach methods that will mainstream its use.
This transition will contribute towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as laid out by the United Nations (UN), the New Urban Agenda and the Paris Climate Accord to which India is a signatory and other such international commitments. The use of alternative, innovative and fast-track technologies aims at -a) conservation of natural resources; b) bringing speed in construction; c) utilization of industrial and construction demolition waste; d) reduction in air and noise pollution; e) optimum use of water; f) increased labour productivity; g) cost reduction; h) safe and disaster resilient houses; and i) all-weather site execution etc. Such a technology transition aligns well with the vision of New India 2022. This will bring the country at par with the advanced economies of the world and their rigorous standards in the construction sector.