Mr. Sunil Agarwal participated in debate on “Is Sustainable Affordable” on Zee Business

10 January 2018

The debate was chaired by Ms. Anita Nayar Dhawan and the dais was shared by Mr. Prashant Thakur, Head Research, Anarock Property Consultant; Mr. Gaurav Gupta, Joint Secretary, CREDAI; Ar. Vinod Gupta, Space Design Consultants; Ar. Vivek Gupta, Principal architect at Arvind Vivek and Associates; and Ms. Anumita Roychowdhury, Executive Director, Research Advisory, Centre for Science and Environment.

When asked why we need a rating system, Mr. Agarwal said,
“Most of the buildings rated today are voluntary by the developers because the clients in the corporate space value ratings and have actually a corporate social responsibility of having a lease in a green building. While there are some developers who are conscientious and do believe in developing a green building that abide by rules and add to sustainability.”

Though in the debate he spoke against the motion, he genuinely believes that ‘Sustainable is Affordable’ for high end commercial and housing projects in India. But when it comes to a higher capital expenditure in the category of affordable housing, then for that buyer segment the housing becomes unaffordable and therefore requires some government subsidy. This is the simple point that is often not understood by many.

He also raised the point of multi-window approvals and multiple regulations controlling the working of the sector. Apart from it, he also spoke about how the dwelling unit sizes decided by the government in relation to EWS and LIG Housing ends up costing the developer more. In the end, the debate concluded with the question,

‘Why technology is not supportive enough for sustainability in affordability?”