Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Table of Contents for Greenitiatives

Greenitiatives - Report

The critical steps



TERI has come up with its agenda for the new government and offered tips on how it can reinvent sustainable development for all


As India gears up to welcome a new government, the high expectations of the electorate will test the functioning of the new dispensation. To achieve tangible results in the first 100 days, the new government will have to perform beyond expectations in the field of sustainable development, which broadly covers fundamental issues such as water, energy and food security. It is imperative that the new government should focus on specific policies and institutional frameworks which will help achieve quick results and reverse the current trend. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has come up with an advisory that addresses not only the way forward, but deals with the critical aspect of the cost of inaction. Along with chasing targets, India will need to leapfrog measures, which will cover the “un-served” population.


TERI has proposed few quick solutions which are basic and easily implementable. The measures will not only bring down the costs of inaction,  but improve the lives of millions in a sustainable manner.


Dr. R.K. Pachauri, Director-General, TERI, is led to say: “Environmental issues are often presented within the framework of conflict between environment and development. What is attempted here is a refreshing departure which provides a price tag on the damage that poor environmental quality and degradation is imposing on human society and how substantially lower-cost action can avoid this burden.” Here are some key issues that need to be addressed by the new government.





As per the XII Five Year Plan of India, urban India would need hefty investments towards meeting just the capital expenditure requirements of providing urban infrastructure. Capital expenditure requirement of nearly Rs 2,88,000 crore and Rs 99,000 crore will be required for meeting the infrastructure needs of urban transport and other sectors (water supply, sewerage, storm water drainage and solid waste management), respectively between 2012 and 2017. Given the financial situation of our urban local bodies and other urban agencies, meeting these investment requirements will not be easy and would need support of all stakeholders, including the private sector. Innovative financing methods for meeting infrastructure investment requirements will be critical. Equally important would be to create capacity amongst urban institutions to be able to select, plan, design and deliver infrastructure projects that are sustainable in the long run. The conventional approach of looking for short-term solutions to infrastructure gaps may not help address the challenges of infrastructure and would definitely not help in meeting the long-term vision of sustainable and green growth of urban areas, which essentially means urban growth that has least environmental footprint, is inclusive and which generates economic growth opportunities with minimum environmental and social impacts. Realising such a model of growth for urban India would need a larger vision and a long-term sustainable urban development policy. This policy should look at a period of 20 to 30 years and should dwell on: projections for the nature of urban growth in future, expected challenges, sustainable and green solutions, and, essential requirements to achieve these solutions – capacity, institutions, and finances. Urban India will also need to look at the way it plans, designs, constructs and uses its buildings.





With over two decades of experience on sustainable buildings, TERI has developed a robust rating system of green buildings, GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment), which was adopted as the national rating system for green buildings by the Government of India in 2007. Consequently all buildings of government of India and public sector undertakings have mandated minimum GRIHA rating. Several State Governments including Delhi, Assam, Punjab and several corporations have adopted GRIHA. TERI has called upon all States to adopt GRIHA as a framework to achieve resource efficiency in the built environment. This would help streamline approvals for real estate projects, ensure regular monitoring, follow-up on environmental clearances and compliances, during the course of construction and operation of building projects.


It will also facilitate a two-way communication between the authorities and projects; and, essentially, help move away from the ‘check the boxes’ approach of EIA, provide relief to projects having to move from pillar to post for seeking approvals, and ensure execution of projects in a time-bound manner. TERI has also proposed higher taxes on non-compliant and inefficient appliances/buildings, developing open and transparent institutional mechanisms at the State and Municipal levels to facilitate implementation of resource efficiency thorough GRIHA. Some level of disincentives must be constituted to prevent mainstreaming of defaulters. Resource efficiency must be integrated in all schemes and initiatives around affordable housing. 


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