Dr. Abhijit Banerjee, Technical Advisor, GIZ India

03 February 2017

Guest lecture
Dr. Abhijeet Banerjee, Technical Advisor, GIZ India addressed our students on "Construction Waste Management"

Dr. Abhijeet Banerjee, Technical Advisor, GIZ India, covering projects related to resource efficiency and pollution prevention as part of Indo-German bilateral development corporation in the current resource efficiency project he is managing the component of construction and demolition. He has coordinated a national level, nation wide baseline assessment of current practices and challenges in the construction and demolition based sector, and is engaged with the collaboration of a range of stakeholders in the public and private sectors to promote C&D based utilization.

Prior to joining GIZ he served as a faculty member in environmental studies at Boston-Illinois university in Chicago. Which is why he readily agreed to come here because he is also, in his heart i think he is a teacher.

He described about GIZ as German development agency, an international co-operation agency just like you have USA, GFID in Britain who wants bilateral development between developing countries. In the past, India was considered a poor country so there was a lot of financial aid. Now India is considered a relatively middle income country so a lot of these western countries are now, instead of giving financial aid they are giving technical aid. So whatever India's needs are, whether its environment, public health, education, whatever the needs are we can, these governments give technical aid technical assistance through experts automotive and construction.

The topic on which Mr. Banerjee addressed students was “Construction Waste Management”, we have the solid waste management rules, and the cities have to go through this process of creating this management plan. Cities make a detailed plan to put some thought to it. So a comprehensive plan would include several steps like first of all the inventorization, how much waste is generated, what is the composition, maybe C&D waste generation is variable, certain times of the season, maybe monsoon season - not so much. Maybe other times of the year, so planning for that variability, understanding the situation with a detailed study, what is happening in your city.

He focussed on The Griha certification, green building certification that is the most recognized green building certification in India. It is recognized by the government of India. They also have green-product catalog, in addition they're most well-known for certifying green buildings, but they also have a green product catalog. He mentions that his company has initiated a process where these manufacturers who are currently manufacturing bricks and blocks from C&D waste, get them certified, means Griha certification criteria, do the testing and get them certified with Griha label. So then that is a widely recognized level so then private developers will have no problems accepting those products. So that will provide a big market boost to potentially to, for these products. The other is public procurement. The Delhi government was also a pioneer in adding a small amount of the public tenders, making it mandatory that a small amount of the material that is part of public tenders has to be made form C&D waste. Not everything of course. Non load bearing, non load bearing things like C&D blocks, harmless, harmless things. Similarly the Ahmadabad Municipal Corporation is now just notifying the draft rules. Its not finalized yet, they're going through that process where a small fraction of their initial tenders they are going to get from these products so through public procurement, steps like these, this develops the market. This kind of guarantees the market for the producers and it also sends a signal to the private construction industry that if the government is buying it then it's safe you know, we can also buy it. So these are important steps in developing the market for these products.

This is no longer an optional thing. Within 2-3 years all cities have to meet C&N based management, they have to implement C&D based management. Again, is this too ambitious? Probably. But it is a good starting point. It will give a push to start this process so that at least something, some momentum is generated. Compared to the current state and scope where not only are we creating environmental problems by dumping but also losing a vital source of materials that can be re-used in our structural industry. We saw how the resource situation is quite shaky already. This is a very valuable source of resources that can be re-used.

Dr. Abhijeet Banerjee works as a Technical Advisor in Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), India since the year 2013. It’s an international cooperation agency involved in technical developmental works. He has contributed to projects related to resource efficiency and pollution prevention as a part of the Indo-German bilateral development corporation through this agency.
Being from the background of biological sciences, he made a shift into environment studies when he pursued a masters and a PhD degree in environmental policy from the USA. He has more than a decade of research experience in this field. Prior to joining GIZ, he served as a faculty member in environmental studies at Boston-Illinois University in Chicago where he wrote some interesting material on waste recycling and construction.

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