Shri Chanchal Kumar, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Doner, GOI Encouraged Investors To Capitalize On North-East Region’s Potential

Shri Chanchal Kumar, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Doner, GOI Encouraged Investors To Capitalize On North-East Region's Potential

Shri Chanchal Kumar, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of DoNER, Government of India, discussed on the potential of the North-East regions and emphasized the importance of optimal utilization while speaking at PHDCCI’s National Green Infrastructure Conclave titled Viksit bharat 2047- Pragati path with the theme focused on Environment, Technology and Safety held on March 14, 2024 at Hotel The Park, Delhi.

He highlighted significant infrastructure developments in the region, including the expansion of roads from 10,900 km to over 16,000 km, the addition of 1,900 km of railway tracks, and the increase in airports from 9 to 17, serving more than 65 airlines. Additionally, inland waterways have expanded from 1 to 20 in the last 9 years.

Mr Kumar also stressed the need for focusing on green infrastructure, advocating for microsolar grid power plants, and maintaining a balance between developmental needs and environmental goals. He identified challenges such as land acquisition, forest clearance, and transportation of equipment and materials during road construction, emphasizing the necessity of addressing these issues with advanced technologies. Slope stabilization is crucial due to terrain challenges, with an emphasis on minimizing disruption and maximizing technological utilization.

He further highlighted the North-East Infra Development Scheme, offering a special development package to meet SDG objectives. He suggested that operational and maintenance challenges can be mitigated through the extensive use of technology, especially considering the region’s susceptibility to floods and rain. Collaboration with educational institutions is essential for R&D, and emphasized the need for skilled manpower to unlock the region’s potential in tourism, infrastructure, and IT sectors. He encouraged investors to capitalize on these opportunities, emphasizing that the goal of achieving a developed India by 2047 can be realized through sustainable development practices.

Dr. R.M. Dubey, Executive Advisor, Climate Change & Response PTY LTD & Former PCCF and Chairman, Pollution Control Board, Assam discussed on SDG Goals and ESG compliance and expressed optimism regarding the government’s goals being achievable. He emphasized the necessity of reaching every segment of society to achieve these goals effectively. Further, he underscored the importance of prioritizing environmental protection, stating that environmental goals are of utmost importance, and advocated for the implementation of appropriate strategies. He called infrastructure the backbone of development, highlighting its critical role in facilitating progress.

Dr. Dubey also commended the Gramin Sadak Yojna and emphasized the need for significant governmental intervention while ensuring environmental safeguards and keeping SDGs in mind. In conclusion, he stressed the imperative to construct an environment conducive to sustainable development.

Mr. Sudhir Hoshing, Chair, PHDCCI’s Infrastructure Development Ports, Shipping, Roads and Waterways Committee deliberated that the sustainable road construction needs a holistic approach that emphasizes environmental protection and social responsibility. He informed that construction industry has significantly contributed to environmental degradation, depleting natural resources, and increasing carbon emissions, leading to irreversible damage to ecosystems. It is imperative that we rethink road construction methods and prioritize sustainability in infrastructure projects. By incorporating green technologies and recycling, we can minimize the environmental impact of infrastructure projects while ensuring long-term benefits for present and future generations, Mr. Hoshing added.

Furthermore, sustainable road construction presents a unique opportunity to reduce carbon footprint, mitigate climate change, and create healthier, more livable communities. This can be achieved through eco-friendly design practices and the integration of sustainable principles throughout the project development.

Mr. Himanshu Agarwal, Co- Chair, PHDCCI’s Infrastructure Development Ports, Shipping, Roads and Waterways Committee said that todays’ discussion revolved around outcome-based initiatives from both the Government of India and state governments. With 23 years left until 2047, the goal is to raise the GDP or economy size from 4 trillion dollars to 40 trillion dollars, marking a 10x growth. This requires a 10x outlook on all endeavors.

Since 2014, the government has played a commendable role in grading the infrastructure across the country. The aim is to ensure that by 2047, there is a robust road network, improved air and seaports, expanded railway networks, and well-developed cities with smart infrastructure. The key question is how to achieve this ambitious goal.

It is essential to adopt intelligent techniques and view contractors not just as service providers but also as knowledgeable contributors. This can be facilitated through interactions like today’s brainstorming session, where we collectively strategize on navigating future challenges, he remarked.

Shri R K Pandey, Former Member (Projects), NHAI, emphasized the vital role of infrastructure, particularly the transport sector, in fostering development by facilitating trade and transportation. He discussed on the PM Sadak Pariyojana and Bharat Mala Project, showcasing their contributions to improved connectivity and mobility.

He further noted that India boasts the second-largest road network globally and emphasized the ongoing efforts to expand it further, aiming to claim the first spot soon. Mr. Pandey further shared insights on how substantial amount of soil required, with approximately 100 crore cubic meters needed for construction of one ring road. To address many such issues, there has been a shift in the approach towards concessional contractors, along with the implementation of new specifications like recycling and depth reclamation. These initiatives have resulted in a notable reduction in CO2 emissions.

Mr. Palash Srivastava, CEO, IIFCL Projects Ltd. while discussing on the potential of the North-East region he emphasized the need to leverage technology tailored to the region’s requirements. Furthermore, Mr. Srivastava highlighted Meghalaya’s PPP model, which operates within the framework of the 6th schedule, allowing tribal land to be vested in companies licensed to conduct business in the state. He emphasized the community-based approach and the importance of cooperation in overcoming hurdles to development.

He noted the increasing development in the region, driven by government initiatives focusing on inclusivity and active participation. He also informed about Meghalaya’s industrial policy, emphasizing community participation in technology parks.

Additionally, he discussed SDG goals and ESG compliance, as well as addressing the issue of flexible pavement in the region due to high rainfall. Mr. Srivastava advocated for the use of appropriate alternatives and methods to address this challenge effectively.

Dr. Jatinder Singh, ASG, PHDCCI highlighted the role of PHDCCI in advocating and promoting the principles of green infrastructure within industry and beyond. The next phase of infrastructure development is characterized by an increase in the average ticket size of projects, including a significant number of mega-scale endeavors, he added.

The event also witnessed the release of Knowledge Report by CCR (Climate Change and Response), titled Smart Sustainable Green Infrastructure.

The Event was sponsored by AVS Inno Infra Global Pvt. Ltd.; Ammann India Industry Partners, Eustan Ventures; ARNCH Legal; Kataline;, Civil Mantra Infracon Pvt. Ltd.; AR Thermosets, Climate Change & Response Pvt. Ltd. and supported by PHDCCI annual sponsors, DLF Ltd; Jindal Steel & Power; KLJ Group; Multani Pharmaceuticals Ltd; Marble City; MMG Group; Radico Khaitan Ltd; Uflex Ltd; Vestige; Eazy ERP Technologies; JK Tyre & Industries Ltd; Sagar Group of Industries; Superior Industries Limited; Samsung India Electronics; Oswal Greentech; Apeejay Stya Group; Blossom Kochhar Beauty Products Pvt Ltd; DCM Shriram; R E Rogers; Trident Group; Ajit Industries Pvt Ltd; Bhagwati Plastic and Pipes Industries; Central Coalfields Ltd; DD Pharmaceutical Ltd.; Hindware Sanitary; Jindal Steel; Modern Automobiles;  P S BEDI & Co.

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