PROJECT INDIA

Elections are back but so is the smog and the end of the year. Some collateral benefits or features of elections include rapid decision-making, rapid project execution, timely payments, brisk purchase of materials and equipment due to release of liquidity, increase in cash transactions and so on.

While construction of the Ram Mandir will be the most-talked about project during this period, the towering 182-m ‘Statue of Unity’ recently emerged on the project horizon making its mark. Let the political criticism of the investment in the statue not undermine the brilliance of project execution and its timely delivery, both of which are world-class.

Great projects with super engineering make for a country’s perception as an emerging power. And, world-class project execution builds up its reputation as an emerging super-power. Just as our narrative revolved around red tape and project delays that caused everyone to turn skeptical about everything that was announced! Such execution excellence contributes to building confidence, expectation and aspiration.

The Navi Mumbai International Airport is expected to be a class apart, just as the current Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai proved to be. Metro projects have so far delivered on their execution, and while more routes maybe the need of the day, that can hardly be the fault of our project managers.

Already, technology is beginning to make a difference. Maha Metro is using the 5D Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology, which automates project management by enabling visualisation of the exact structure of a particular building entity by rendering the precise dimensions at the design stage itself. It enables sharing designs and drawings of the construction work, accounting work, site activity, bill approval, budgeting, quality management and the entire documentation. Nagpur Metro is progressing as per the timelines and 10 per cent of the cost has already been saved, as quoted in the DPR, which amounts to about Rs 8 billion due to use of technology. While other metro projects are going ahead with a 10.5-m viaduct, Nagpur Metro has opted for a 8.5-m viaduct, which helped them save around $18 million. In addition, MMRC saved around 8.5 per cent on DPR of the project cost and around $60,000 on Metro Bhavan HQ because of early detection of quantity overrun through BIM mode and clash detection.

A report released by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation in July 2018 revealed that as many as 296 infrastructure projects, each worth Rs 1.5 billion or above, have shown cost overruns to the tune of over Rs 3 trillion owing to delays. Reasons include delay in land acquisition, forest clearance, supply of equipment, fund constraint, Maoist incursion, legal cases and law and order situation.

Given the huge cost of projects at stake, their deferment can make or mar the fortunes of a city. The Bullet Train project, for instance, includes 60 bridges to be built on the high-speed railway corridor between Gujarat and Mumbai. The Rs 120-billion Coastal Road project will see the use of New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM) for tunnelling work of over 3.45-km-long twin tunnels running from the Princess Street flyover to Priyadarshini Park, under Girgaum Chowpatty and Malabar Hill, in Mumbai. Project management and use of technology need to drive the next phase of building and rebuilding India.

Wishing our readers, a happy new 2019!

The toasts of construction

The construction industry could not have asked for a more integrated play than the one witnessed at the INDIA CONSTRUCTION FESTIVAL (ICF) on October 24-25 in New Delhi. Needless to say, the CEOs of construction companies are a hard-working lot and getting them to come together needs more precision than a BIM programme can offer! Vinayak Deshpande, Managing Director, Tata Projects, who has been responsible for bringing about a surge in the fortunes of the company, which is growing at a fast clip, was named the ‘CONSTRUCTION WORLD Person of the Year’.

The Dilip Buildcon family, represented by Dilip Suryavanshi, his sons Rohan and Karan, and Director & CEO, Devendra Jain; L&T Directors DK Sen and MV Satish; and the top brass of Tata Projects highlighted the contribution of their teams in delivering world-class projects in time and the contribution of technology to their success. New companies included the likes of GR Infra, GHV and PSP, while Welspun Enterprises enjoyed an encore.

Our partnership with Engineering News-Record (ENR) brought in the CEOs of Bechtel, Black & Veatch, Mott MacDonald, Hatch, ENKA, Khatib & Alami, TBEA, Jacobs, Hyundai Engineering & Construction, and several more. ôI met all my premium customers and friends from the industry and the icing on the cake was that I got my award from the managing director of my previous company,ö beamed Deepak Garg, Director and CEO, SANY, as he received a round of applause for being crowned ‘Equipment India Person of the Year’ by previous year’s winner Sandeep Singh, Managing Director, Tata Hitachi. Sandeep Singh had just concluded a session, ‘From Cranes to Drones’, where he locked horns with Subodh Dixit, Executive Director & President, Shapoorji Pallonji; Rajan Aiyer, Managing Director, Trimble; and Yogesh Sharma, Executive Director-BD, NBCC.

The day’s highlight was the exclusive presentation of the ‘Statue of Unity’ project by L&T and Turner International. The world’s tallest statue (twice the height of the Statue of Liberty at 184 m) is set to become India’s showpiece engineering marvel.

Meanwhile, the Leadership Forum had already set the stage afire with the likes of DK Sen, Director, L&T; Ravi Sehgal, Chairman, EEPC India; Rohit Modi, CEO, Essel Infraprojects; and Elizabeth King, Director-Middle East and South Asia, Mott MacDonald, discussing diversification across boundaries and verticals.

Earlier on, while experts from KPMG, JICA, CLSA and Centrum deliberated upon the challenges of finance, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry Suresh Prabhu strode in, having recovered from a minor ailment the previous evening. He encouraged the industry captains to take on challenging projects and participate in nation-building. He also pointed out the opportunities arising from India’s infrastructure aspirations. He was right! Earlier on, eminent London-based economist Graham Robinson, in his keynote address, stated that India would be the third fastest construction market in the world by 2030. Robinson gave the audience a ringside view of the socioeconomic trends and growth forecasts for India and the rest of the world.

Infrastructure think-tank FIRST Construction Council (FCC) released a report on TMT bars, which explained how our Rs 5.7-trillion infrastructure investment is at a serious risk owing to the breach in quality standards of this vital building material, which would corrode such investments inside out in an accelerated manner and put millions of lives in danger. Our report highlighted that 18 out of 26 brands tested in a government-approved laboratory failed the BIS 1786 test. The failure was acute in terms of the percentage of phosphorous and sulphur, prime causes of corrosion. FCC has already alerted the ministry of this lacuna and urged the government to strictly enforce this quality standard. Check out the report on the website www.FIRSTConstructionCouncil.com.

In all, it was a most informative and inspiring event. Let’s raise a toast to the awardees, and best practices in the construction industry!

Attitude for altitude

Beginning its operations in 2002, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation now has a route length of 296 km, making it the 12th longest and 16th largest in daily ridership. Its punctuality is 99.9 per cent when any delay of over 59 seconds is considered a delay. After its expansion, it will reach a length of 350 km and become the fourth longest metro rail.

Its ground rules were laid when its founding managing director E Sreedharan took charge and reported directly to the PMO during the initial period of construction. Since then, Dr Mangu Singh, the current Managing Director, has taken the lead. Recently, I shared a panel with him at the International Project Management Association’s Global Summit in Delhi.

He voiced concerns about the attitude of public officials holding decision-making posts. ‘It is in our interest that the project that has been contracted out to a contractor gets completed in the defined time, and we should assist in making that happen. This may include resolving issues, seeking permissions, etc. Timely intervention can help achieve timely execution,’ he elaborated. On being questioned about the fear of persecution by vigilance for taking ‘undue interest’, he cautioned that once the decision-maker has a clear conscience and follows due procedures, the benefits overcome the odds of persecution. He confirmed that DMRC had no pending cases and issues that faced resolution challenges.

Indeed, Dr Mangu Singh explained that the ethos of DMRC reverberated with such positive project management measures. And the results are now apparent. We all know that the Delhi Metro was a challenging project – when it began, how many of us would have had the faith that it would be ferrying 2.8 million passengers a day, while maintaining cleanliness and time discipline? Little wonder that it has won several prestigious awards!

In fact, as much as 425 km of metro lines are already in operation in 10 cities now. Ongoing approvals will take India up to 700 km. The PM has envisioned metro lines in 50 cities. With such colossal investments, our cities would be greatly served as transportation is one of the biggest urban banes today.

As the stance of governance is hardening, institutions standing on weak or corroded legs are stumbling and crumbling. After the case of corrosion of ethics in ICICI, IL&FS, too, seems to have bloodied its nose by first becoming a messiah to Maytas Infra (the Satyam scam fallout) in 2009 and then several unrelated forays. Maytas Infra, then run by Tejas Raju, has been hit by the Satyam scam and had to be rescued as part of the overall operation by IL&FS. To date, Maytas, now renamed IL&FS Engineering, has not been able to script a turnaround and is running in losses. However, IL&FS’s downfall has been its averseness to the principles of transparency and governance by defending itself using the clout of its investors, which include HDFC, SBI and LIC, among others. IL&FS was downgraded from ‘Triple A’ to ‘D’ in a matter of a few weeks. Having defaulted on debt repayments, it is in the process of selling its 37,000 sq m headquarters at Mumbai’s Bandra-Kurla Complex, among other assets.

While corroded assets crumble at the altar of efficiency and governance, new debutants are filling the shoes of the gorillas of the past. Our forthcoming INDIA CONSTRUCTION FESTIVAL (ICF), opening on October 24-25 at Taj Palace, New Delhi, will showcase the best, biggest and fastest growing construction, building material and equipment companies. Supported by the Ministry of Commerce, the Festival is also partnered by New York-based Engineering News-Record magazine, EEPC, NHBF, CIDC and BAI. Look for the registration details provided in this issue and book early. See you at #ICF2018!

The Pacesetters

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari is a man in a hurry. Recently, he announced the Rs 1-trillion Mumbai-Delhi Expressway, which will connect India’s two most backward districts, Mewat (Haryana) and Dahod (Gujarat). With this, the travel time will reduce from the current 24 hours to 12 hours. The first tender for the project worth Rs 440 billion between Mumbai and Vadodara has been floated. The expressway is scheduled for completion in three years. Further, the Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh governments are to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to build the 339-km Indore-Manmad railway line, worth Rs 100 billion. The Centre and six states of North India will sign a MoU for construction of the Lakhwar multi-purpose project in the Upper Yamuna basin in Uttarakhand, worth Rs 40 billion. Work on five major river linking projects, including the one that would transfer surplus water from Godavari to Cauvery, is expected to commence from December. According to Gadkari, a total of 31 river linking projects are under consideration under the National River Linking programme.

The value of new project announcements by the private sector rose for the first time in two years in the June 2018 quarter, as per analysis by CMIE. However, the bulk of them were made by foreign companies.

So although L&T reported a 37 per cent growth in order book during the quarter, it guided for a subdued 10-12 per cent order inflow growth for the full year, which is only a slight increase of over 7 per cent from the previous year.

Despite the deficit in infrastructure, the pace of public spending is keeping the economic spirits of India up, and the infrastructure sector seems to be back in favour. Given the elections next year, it is estimated that this pace will not slacken as the government wants to achieve numbers, which indicate an upswing in the economy by the time the government is ready to announce the Union Budget on February 1, 2019. This augurs well for a swell in the economic tide.

While contracts are being awarded, it is also time for awards. FIRST Construction Council, the think tank has completed its exercise in identifying winners across verticals. First off, CONSTRUCTION WORLD is hosting its 13th CONSTRUCTION WORLD Architect & Builder Awards on September 11, 2018, in Mumbai (look for our new column on architecture on page 116). On October 24-25, it will then host the INDIA CONSTRUCTION FESTIVAL, which will bring the best and the biggest with the fastest construction companies in India. This issue’s cover story is devoted to bringing you in touch with the nominees of the fastest growing companies in the country.

If Graham Robinson, the eminent economist from the UK – who is the keynote speaker for the CONSTRUCTION WORLD Global Awards being held on October 24 – is right, and India becomes the fastest construction market in the world by 2030, then keep an eye on the nominees as they have already begun to set the pace.

The world of construction is coming to India

The news on the Indian economy has gotten better. As it inched past France to become the sixth largest economy in the world with a GDP of $2.59 trillion, the country’s growth numbers for fiscal 2018 seem to be within reach at 7.3 per cent, and then onwards to a tough 7.6 per cent in fiscal 2019.

The Sensex is at an all-time high having crossed 37,000 for the first time ever, amid worries over oil and trade war escalation. The reason for this jubilation in the financial markets comes from the defeat of the no-confidence motion, a strong monsoon season so far, and a weak rupee spurring export growth. The corporate results of the consumer and IT sectors have been strong. Banks are seeming to find a resolution, having found takers for their stressed assets such that they are put to work again very quickly.

Although capacity utilisation is above 70 per cent, at the aggregate level, the announcement of new projects is lagging. The optimism reflected at the bourses may suffer a bout of correction as liquidity, which is driving the financial markets, begins to ease as interest rates are set to rise.

States are determining their pace of growth, which was amply demonstrated during the no-confidence motion by Andhra Pradesh. Recently, it announced the building of ‘Construction Cities’ throughout the state to facilitate large-scale construction and promote modern and advanced construction techniques and technology. The aim is to make available all building materials and construction equipment and a supporting ecosystem under one roof. FIRST Construction Council, a non-profit research body promoted by ASAPP Info Global Group, organised a stakeholder discussion meet along with Andhra Pradesh urban officials in Mumbai. As mega projects require a consortium approach, integration has become a key component of successful bidding.

The CONSTRUCTION WORLD Architect & Builder (CWAB) Awards, in their 13th year, are expanding their blueprint. This year’s edition features the iCUBE Conference, an expo and the awards. Sought-after Shanghai-based duo Neri & Hu are the keynote speakers. The awards are the culmination of a time-tested process that took on four regional exploration zones: Kolkata, Pune, Delhi and Bengaluru. The winners from the regional nominations will be invited to attend the nationals at CWAB on September 12, in Mumbai. Scouting for new talent has been CWAB’s top priority and this year will add the regional zing to its portfolio of ‘Noteworthy Project’ awards too.
A month later, on October 24-25, CONSTRUCTION WORLD and the world’s most recognised engineering magazine, New York-based Engineering News-Record (ENR), are together bringing the INDIA CONSTRUCTION FESTIVAL to New Delhi. Top CEOs of global engineering firms will visit the Festival; debate and deliberate at the CONSTRUCTION WORLD Leadership Summit; and receive awards at the CONSTRUCTION WORLD Global Awards.

The stage is set for business.

Why Public Works needs to work for private!

Have you noticed that the size of project execution has grown manifold? New projects worth Rs 1.95 trillion were announced in the January to March quarter, up from Rs 1.20 trillion in the previous quarter. The capacity of companies in delivering larger projects has expanded. Earlier, we would rarely discuss a few mega projects concurrently in progress. But now, we have the launch of the Rs 167 billion Navi Mumbai International project; the finalisation of 18 bidders for the Rs 460 billion Mumbai Nagpur expressway for which work is expected to commence this September; launch of the Rs 79 billion fourth container project at JNPT to be operated by Singapore ports – all have raised the bar on value, scale and size. However, the construction sector’s share in India’s overall gross value declined to 7.4 per cent in the financial year 2017-18 (FY18) from 9.6 per cent in FY12 owing to poor demand in the real estate sector and lower capital expenditure. Essentially, private sector spending, which contributed a big chunk in infrastructure, has remained shy, and public spending purses have opened to drive the momentum.

The government has finally recognised this imbalance and the GST council is likely to reduce tariff from 28 per cent to 18 per cent for paints, cement, plywood, plaster, etc, later this month to give a fillip for building materials. The PMAY drive to build ‘Housing for All by 2022’ has Rs 600 billion being deployed to build 12 million houses with 0.3 to 0.5 million houses being built every month! Recently, the consortium of Tata Projects, Capacit’e Infraprojects and CITIC Group has been awarded a Rs 117.44 billion project by the Maharashtra Government for redevelopment in Mumbai. This year is all about stepping up awarding of contracts and expediting execution and we are likely to see results of construction companies improve. Non-clarity of our tax laws has been a major reason for litigation and corruption. This has helped the legal profession but paralysed our economic growth. While our ranking in the Ease of Doing Business improved to the 100th position among 190 countries, we are still ranked 119th in paying taxes, 164th in enforcing contracts, and 181st in dealing with construction permits.

Contractors are yet to be compensated by the Public Works Department (PWD) of various states for GST compensation on rates reduced from 18 per cent to 12 per cent for government contracts. Since, Tier-II and Tier-III centres are driving growth in aviation, automobiles and e-commerce, the 13th Construction World Architect & Builder (CWAB) Awards are going “Regional” too. Having completed Kolkata, CWAB is concluding its ‘Regionals’ in Pune, Bengaluru and Delhi and recognising talent all round. Get set for CWAB 2018 scheduled on 12th September in Mumbai.

Check website for more details: www.CWABawards.com

The Tepidity Hangover

While most agencies are speculating on the estimated GDP growth rate for India and the fact that oil is a big worry for our financial health, not one is able to capture the mood of the economy despite the numbers. Are we well past the painful period in the economy? How long do we have to wait to see the green shoots seen by some (but not most)? The answers are at best befuddled. So, let’s start looking at what is definitely the positive part of what is visible.

The Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC) has brought all delinquent cases on the auction table and bids are at advanced stages. Having bidders indicates that the propositions are attractive. We have the case of Bhushan Steel, which has helped bankers redeem their loans by curtailing losses that would have been caused if the company had gone into liquidation. Bhushan Steel would have fetched only Rs 140 billion if liquidated, but Tata Steel has paid Rs 325 billion for the 5-million capacity plant 150 km away from its Kalinganagar plant. With most banks having already made provisions for 50 per cent of the total Rs 560 billion Bhushan owed them, proceeds from the sale are seen boosting their profitability.

What’s remarkable in this case is that while the liquidation of the company would have fetched Rs 140 billion, the transparent process of auctioning the company has been able to restore a better realisation at nearly three times this value. Further, the asset is getting a bidder that will restore two-third of the funds lent to an active status. In the erstwhile BIFR regime, this asset would have gathered rust until the plant became inoperable and the workers would have lost their means of a livelihood. If the IBC can similarly convert many of these stressed assets into earning assets despite a haircut, it would stem the loss of jobs and save assets from decimation.

On another note, subsidies to the poor in India would not reach the intended beneficiary and would be diverted owing to poor governance. Today, direct benefit transfer and Aadhar linking have helped save Rs 830 billion. What’s more, the housing shortage in urban areas is now settled at 10 million homes, while the government wants to build another 10 million homes for the rural poor by the end of 2018. Houses are being constructed at breakneck speed, with L&T, Shapoorji and NCC being some of the companies picking up large contracts. Further, mega infrastructure projects like the metro, trans-harbour link, coastal road, airports, Bharatmala, Sagarmala, railway stations, freight corridors and bullet train will continue to face execution challenges – but remain our biggest prospects. Grab them and get going or you will miss the opportunity under the hangover of tepidity.

Quality over quantity

Oil, the single biggest factor that helped the government manage the fiscal deficit, has climbed from its advantageous position to well over $75. Even as GST is gaining stability, the E-way bill has caused feathers to be ruffled again. Not only are small companies having to contend with compliance changes a bit too often, there are certain anomalies that require clarification. GST for government contracts has been brought to 12 per cent while GST on private contracts is at 18 per cent. The only good news on the macro front is that a normal monsoon is expected.

However, the outlook is positive for 2018-19. Roads and highways are gathering pace with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari laying the construction target for 2018-19 at 45 km per day. He has also raised the award target to 20,000 km for the current fiscal, up 25 per cent over the previous year.

Year         Roads awarded (km)    Roads constructed (km)
2017-18        17,055                           9,829
(Actual)
2018-19         20,000                           16,420
(Target)

Mumbai’s Development Plan (MDP) 2034 has been released after revisions and has hiked the FSI in the island city to 3 from 1.33 for residential, and 5 for commercial.
In the suburbs, FSI has been raised from 2 to 2.5 for residential and from 2.5 to 5 for commercial. MDP 2034 proposes to unlock 3,700 hectare of public and private land currently tagged as a no-development zone (NDZ) for the construction of 10 lakh affordable homes.

While the unlocking of the land will be from no-development zones, FSI has been enhanced in the island city, which is landlocked. This is likely to put severe pressure on the current infrastructure. While the metro-rail should ease traffic congestion bringing enhanced capacity to public transport, the lack of any build-up in capacity in water, sanitation and waste management will throw the city into an accelerated pace of decay.

The ban on the construction of new buildings, too, was recently lifted by the Supreme Court for six months, with conditions. The ban, which held up construction projects worth Rs 20 billion, had been granted as landfill sites were saturated and developers and contractors were dumping debris all over the city.

The above impetus for construction can help the industry exponentially, provided it also enables its key actors: The workers. With only 4 per cent of the current 32 million construction workers skilled, obtaining high productivity through mechanisation and use of advanced tools remains a pipe dream. An unskilled force will set us to lose qualitative aspects in the quest to chase quantitative targets. Our cover story unravels the pitfalls ailing the industry and what it needs to do to muscle up!

The sustainability challenge

Indian architecture has been decorated with its crown jewel BV Doshi being honoured with the Pritzker Prize, making him the first Indian ever to have received this honour.

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, was a Swiss-French architect, designer, painter, urban planner and writer, and a pioneer of what is now called modern architecture. In 1950, Le Corbusier laid the master plan for Chandigarh. Balkrishna Doshi (BV Doshi), born in Pune on 26 August 1927, is one of the last living architects to have apprenticed with Le Corbusier, and has built low-cost housing and public institutions, such as the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), IIM-Bangalore, the Aranya Low-Cost Housing, and Tagore Memorial Hall. In fact, the Aranya Low-Cost Housing project, located 6 km from Indore, was built at Rs 100 million way back in 1989, which also won Doshi the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1996.

The master plan for this had taken several aspects of sustainable living into consideration in a balanced manner; several considerations taken into account are extremely unique to the design and relevant to the concerned income group.

For instance, the building’s height-to-street width ratio ensures shade to streets at all times except when the sun is overhead. Concepts like these remain alien to several planners even today. Further, Doshi was significantly involved in the design and planning of the city of Chandigarh.

For his part, Doshi has said he owed the prestigious prize to his guru, Le Corbusier. My works are an extension of my life, philosophy and dreams trying to create a treasury of architectural spirit.

I owe this prestigious prize to my guru, Le Corbusier, he said in a statement thanking the Pritzker jury.

Indeed, planning a sustainable habitat is the challenge urban local bodies face as they grapple with developing smart cities. While the progress on projects may be slow, the brilliance of some of the torchbearers of this mission is sure to inspire and revive this profession. Despite our rich heritage and knowledge, why has India remained poor in offering the best to architecture in the context of modern urbanism? Why are we not learning from the examples of our own past? Nearly a hundred years ago, Jamshedpur was created as India’s first planned smart industrial city; recently, at a function, Tata Group Chairman N Chandrasekaran promised to turn the city smarter.

All considered, as our nation builds, the construction community must tread carefully. While we provide livelihood, we must train, administer and manage efficiently. Project management, skill training and use of technology are truly the guiding principles today.

Cheers to tomorrow!

Building Smart

According to McKinsey, construction holds the dubious honour of having the lowest productivity gains of any industry. The reasons attributed to this include continued use of labour instead of technology; lack of consolidation; and the fact that builders are still averse to using technology even though architects increasingly espouse it.
Technology is becoming key: The MoRTH is trying to escalate the pace of execution from 25 km to 40 km per day; the Prime Minister’s PRAGATI project, where he reviews projects worth Rs 9 trillion, is regularly laying stress upon speed of execution of metro projects, power plants; and there is a race for implementing affordable housing projects in line with the PMAY, for which incentives are being provided to developers and buyers.

In fact, L&T, Shapoorji Pallonji and NCC have qualified for a number of such projects and these are being executed using technologies like MIVAN. Design and engineering, too, are gaining importance as cities are considering master planning, which will bring tools of urban planning into play. Pre-engineered buildings, prefab and shuttering systems are being deployed like never before. Road building companies are completing projects to earn bonuses by advancing completion deadlines. What’s more, the smart cities mission has advocated the use of technology in planning, administering and maintaining assets for cities. This has encouraged the use of IoT devices, GPS systems, RFID, digital systems, advanced CCTV, Wi-Fi, waste-to-energy management, tracking devices, data management, e-governance and so on.

With the advent of technology comes the need for capacity building, where procurement, engineering, architecture and design departments need to upgrade themselves. Inability to upgrade these skills will lead to flaws in bidding documents, specifications, withdrawal of tenders and failures in generating interest in tenders. This, in turn, would lead to delays in project execution. (Delays in projects cost our nation over Rs 500 billion per annum.)

Clearly, the world is changing and India is transforming. Globally, 3D printing is being used to build flats. Modular buildings, like the one built by a Chinese company that built 57 stories in 19 days, are setting new benchmarks. Just as smart phones are being sold all over India even though so many parts of the country do not have access to electricity, we will have to pursue the dialogue to convert India into a smart nation even though gaps exist in basic delivery of services.

Do visit SM@RT URBANATION on March 22-23, 2018 at HICC, Hyderabad and experience, observe and connect with the smart solutions that are changing our lives – and our nation.