A seminar on 'New Technologies for Construction Industry' was recently organised by PHD Chamber at PHD House, New Delhi. The inaugural session of the seminar was addressed by Maj Gen B B Sharma, VSM, Director General, DG MAP; Shri R P Indoria, Secretary General, Indian Roads Congress; Dr. Sunil Bose, Head Flexible Pavement Division, Central Road Research Institute; and Shri Anuj Mehta, Principal Architect and Visiting Faculty, School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi.
Welcoming the participants, Shri Ashish Wig, Co-chairman, Infrastructure Committee, PHD Chamber in his opening remarks mentioned that investment in infrastructure development is crucial for India’s sustained economic growth. There is an urgent need to utilise world-class technologies in the Indian construction sector which also suit Indian conditions. The objective behind organising this Seminar is to give exposure to the domestic construction industry about some of the latest technologies so that it can lead to greater labor productivity and help in reducing time and cost overruns which plague the sector. He also emphasised that MNCs that have set up bases in India should also work on skill development.
Shri Ashok Kajaria, President, PHD Chamber, in his welcome address said that construction industry is the second largest employer in the country after agriculture and provides employment to about 40 million people. He also mentioned that our economy which is expected to grow at a rate of more than 9-10% per annum in the coming years, will not be able to achieve high economic growth without development of adequate and efficient physical infrastructure and hence construction industry plays a vital role in this regard and has to gear itself to meet the challenges. Considerable strengthening of the domestic construction industry is needed urgently and it is necessary to identify the major issues affecting the efficiency of the sector and take corrective action. There is an urgent need to encourage mechanisation to build up the sector’s capacity to deliver the critical infrastructure needed for economic development. The poor state of technology adopted by the construction sector adversely affects its performance and upgradation of technology is required both in the manufacturing of construction materials and in construction activities. He also mentioned that in today’s world, apart from being cost-effective, products and technologies being used by the construction industry need to take into consideration the global environmental concerns and should also be energy-efficient.
Chairman, Infrastructure Committee, PHD Chamber, Dr. Suresh Goyal in his address, emphasised that by providing substantial employment and growth impetus through backward and forward linkages, the construction industry also contributes immensely to the socio-economic development of the nation and healthy growth of the economy.
Addressing the participants, Maj Gen B B Sharma said that investment in construction sector has increased from 5.4% to 11% of GDP from the year 1970-71 to present. Construction industry is expected to grow at a rate of 26% annually, as Rs.1 invested in this sector gives an increase of Rs.0.80 in GDP. He further said that technology has changed the need of the consumer; the cost conscious user currently needs a product with longer life. Technology should not be governed by the advancement in knowledge but it should be identified as a means to satisfy the needs of the consumer. The biggest challenge in construction is to integrate amongst the different disciplines and the computer is the biggest tool to integrate amongst them. In the construction industry, while hardware and software are important, developing skillware is crucial.
Shri R P Indoria, Secretary General, Indian Road Congress, said that the Government of India spends about Rs.58,000 crores annually on road development and the other State sponsored investment will be more than Rs.1,00,000 crores. With the quantum jump in road construction activity, there is need for innovations in road construction technology including in the field of design, planning, construction, maintenance, operations and financing of road construction as existing methods are time consuming and cost intensive and not up to the global standards. He said that some of the new technologies which are being used are Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) for traffic control, composite pavement for road construction, soil stabilisation through chemical / polymers / enzymes, warm mix technology for construction of environment friendly flexible pavement and asphalt rheology technique to judge quality of binder. He expressed his concern over the fact that lack of awareness and lack of availability of the design, construction codes / guidelines / standards are the main barriers in the growth of the construction industry and can be removed by disseminating information through seminars / workshops etc.
Dr. Sunil Bose, Head Flexible Pavement Division, Central Road Research Institute highlighted the recent technologies in India. He said some of the new technologies which are being used include use of RFCC catalyst, use of paint sludge, waste plastic, and use of crumb rubber for modification of bitumen, use of waste plastic for stone matrix asphalt and porous asphalt, use of warm asphalt, sulphur extended asphalt and recycling techniques.
Shri Anuj Mehta, Principal Architect and Visiting Faculty, SPA, said that technology is both a boon and a bane. He said world class infrastructure is being created in India but it does not suit the Indian culture and climate. He also mentioned that urban growth should not be calculated in terms of big or multiple buildings but it should be measured if the constructed infrastructure responds to the context they are being made for. Latest technologies should not be just adopted but need to be used appropriately in tune with the culture of our country and to suit the weather of the country.
In the Technical Session that followed the Inaugural Session, presentations were made by Shri Prashant Gujjar, Regional Sales Manager, Potain India Pvt. Ltd. (Group Company of Manitowoc Cranes India). Displaying screen demonstration of Potain Tower Cranes, Mr. Gujjar, explained that the cranes, which are owned by Manitowoc, have been designed for the long-term offering, reliability for years whether they are manufactured in Europe or in Asia. The company not just offers wide range of self erecting, top slewing and special application cranes with outstanding versatility and performance but also supports its products with a reputed dealer network committed to serve the aspirations and needs of its customers. The advantages of Potain Tower Cranes include, impressive capacities at radius compared to traditional lifting equipment, electrically powered for quiet, green operation, bases designed for minimal jobsite disruption, mobile self-erecting cranes offer efficient on site relocation. Its Optima technology maximizes hoist and swing performance.
Another equipment major ACE also made presentation of its MTC 2418. Demonstrating its product Company’s Country Head Arun Bishnoi, explained that it is an all terrain, self-propelled mobile tower crane with a road speed of 25km per hour as its entirely different lock enables it to get out of tough spots quickly. In addition, it is self- erecting and self-folding tower crane and its operations can easily be affected in a few minutes by a single operator through a remote control pod. It facilitates the operator to position himself in such a way that he can see both picking as well as dumping points for precise load positioning. Moreover, its inbuilt generator driven by the prime mover’s engine makes the tower crane totally independent of any outside electric sources. It only uses a part of the power and the generator can be used to supply other electrical equipment like mixers, vibrators and job site lighting systems. Its articulated chassis and hydraulic steering system enables a very short turning radius and easy positioning. The ACE has all India Sales and Service network operating at all major Indian cities.
In addition, Macmillan Insulations India Pvt Ltd, GMP Technical Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Intertouch Building Products, Window Magic India, Kajaria Ceramics Ltd., Star Link Communication Pvt. Ltd., Texsa India Ltd., HSIL Ltd etc have also made presentation of their products.
Shri Ashish Wig chaired the Concluding Session and thanked the speakers and the participants. Around 95 participants attended the seminar. The seminar brings together a large number of construction companies and professionals under one roof to interact, share and add to their knowledge in the field of new materials, equipment and technologies and apply the same while designing and planning their projects.