Iconic buildings, faster construction & zero waste is NBCC’s mantra
Real Estate

Iconic buildings, faster construction & zero waste is NBCC’s mantra

Focussing on redevelopment of government lands and stressed assets in India and social housing for the world is a priority, says PK Gupta, CMD, NBCC in an exclusive freewheel chat with E Jayashree Kurup.Looking at the importance given by Government to infrastructure sector...

Focussing on redevelopment of government lands and stressed assets in India and social housing for the world is a priority, says PK Gupta, CMD, NBCC in an exclusive freewheel chat with E Jayashree Kurup.Looking at the importance given by Government to infrastructure sector, what is the contribution of NBCC to the infrastructure and the society in general?We are mainly into building construction and our focus areas are redevelopment of government property, construction of infrastructure for central and state governments, PSUs, autonomous bodies, etc. We are also focussing on stressed assets of private sector builders. Like, we have already taken the challenge of completion of Amrapali and completed 50 per cent of the work. This is a big booster for all stressed assets. It is very rare that a PSU takes over the leftover work of a private sector builder. There are a large number of stressed projects in NCR in Noida, Greater Noida and Gurugram. NBCC is ready to take over and complete these stressed assets.What are the challenges when you execute these projects?Challenges are manifold. First, these houses are in different stages of construction and lying unused and undelivered for a number of years. The second problem is the availability of reports, design drawings and ownership status. Third is the financing, because these assets are generally in the blacklist of the banks and they are not ready to give loan. There is also shortage of finance because the funds have been syphoned off by builders.How did you get around it?The challenge was to show something on the ground to home buyers. So without waiting for funding arrangements, we started the work on the ground. That gave a lot of confidence to home buyers. They started to pay their instalments, while unsold inventories also started getting sold. Banks started giving loans to the buyers as the projects started coming out of the blacklist. This was possible only due to wholehearted support of Supreme Court and court receiver.What is your role in redevelopment of government lands?We have taken up a lot of redevelopment projects. The first redevelopment project by NBCC was the redevelopment of New Moti Bagh, where Type-V to Type-VIII residential apartments are developed giving due importance to comfort of residents by creating special walkways, cycling tracks, entertainment spaces like amphitheatres, sports avenues, gym, etc. It gives us lot of pleasure to see that this is one of the most preferred colonies of GPRA. Similar features are being incorporated in other redevelopment colonies depending upon the feasibility. Then in East Kidwai Nagar, we constructed commercial property and leased it out to PSUs for 30 years and from that money, we constructed the housing colonies. And now we are taking up the redevelopment of seven GPRA colonies.How it is different from existing GPRA & what are the green or sustainable practices followed for this?Existing GPRA is generally double-storeyed where we are redeveloping them as multi-storeyed keeping a lot of open area. In addition, we focus on sustainable and green features. Our all projects are zero discharge projects. All treated water is used in the project itself. We have a dual piping system where the flushing system uses treated water. Treated water is also used for gardening and washing. There is a solid waste management system where complete segregation is done, and the waste is treated in the waste treatment plant on location. Very little of the solid waste goes out. NBCC also recycles the construction and demolition waste and uses it in its projects. For example, NBCC had setup a C&D waste recycling plant at East Kidwai Nagar redevelopment project where 2 million bricks were manufactured from waste and used in the project.What about construction of institutional buildings?We are constructing very important institutional buildings. We have already finished AIIMS Bilaspur; AIIMS Deoghar is on the verge of completion. We have constructed a number of IITs. While IIT Mandi and IIM Ranchi have been completed, IIM Visakhapatnam, IIM Sambalpur, and IIT Bhubaneswar are in the completion stages.After COVID, do you have any role in upgrading health infrastructure at the district level? We are doing the district hospital in Chamba, Himachal Pradesh and the health infrastructure in Uttar Pradesh and Orissa. We have already completed a hospital for Steel Authority of India in Rourkela.Can you throw some light on NBCC entering Smart City projects?We have now entered into smart city work. We have projects in Puducherry and Aligarh. We are in talks with many more cities and would be entering into this work of upgrading them to smart cities. Smart city projects have many components like revival and upgradation of IT infrastructure, traffic management systems, upgradation of roads and sewerage network. We are doing all of this work.About 93% of your work is in project management, will that continue?Our main business will remain in project management where we get a fixed fee out of the cost of the project. We provide end-to-end services, including design, tendering, construction, commissioning and maintenance also.Have you been working on skilling workforces?We are running skill development courses at all our sites under Skill India Mission. We skill the labour of our contractors, and provide them with certificates.What are the benchmarks that NBCC has set?Our hallmark has been fast construction and construction of iconic buildings. We have constructed many beautiful buildings in Delhi like the Garvi Gujarat Bhawan, Ambedkar Bhawan and the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Institute of Archaeology in Greater Noida. The installation of the statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was also done by us as, apart from the construction of National War Memorial. Though these are small works, they are still significant. In our projects, we were the first to start zero discharge and solid waste management on the site.How do you see your role going forward?Redevelopment and construction of stalled projects are two big focus areas. And then we want to go overseas in a big way. Right now we are doing a social housing project of 2,000 houses in Maldives. We plan to take up reconstruction work in Turkey, the ones that were damaged in recent earthquakes, and we are in discussion with the government in Zambia for social housing projects.In Nauroji Nagar, we have the World Trade Centre, a first ever constructed by any PSU, and is another iconic building right in the heart of Delhi. There are 12 towers of Ground+9 storeys. It will be the hub of commercial activity in South Delhi. In Sarojini Nagar, we have got all the approvals for construction. In Netaji Nagar we are yet to receive some approvals, which are likely to be received shortly.How do you see the role of PSUs in the growing economy?PSUs still have an important role to play in this economic transformation of India to a five trillion economy. Particularly important is the infrastructure sector including road, railways and redevelopment of government land. Role of PSUs still remains highly vital for the transformation of the economy.

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