Big players to go green in Gujarat

Gujarat, a large part of which is either desert or semi-desert, is now poised to go green with major realty projects focussing on the environs of townships they are developing.

Large realty players such as the Tatas, Adanis and the Gokul Group are positioning their projects on the green platform in Gujarat.

If the Tatas plan to provide certified green housing, the Adanis will offer houses-between-trees while Gokul boasts of a ‘canyon'.

Tata Housing Development Company Ltd had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the State Government during Vibrant Gujarat 2011 in January to invest Rs 1,000 crore on developing two integrated townships. Now, it has entered into a strategic partnership with Arvind Ltd and floated a 50:50 joint venture to develop an integrated mega-township spread over 134 acres in western Ahmedabad.

The project will have a built up area of more than 90 lakh sq ft with mixed development. “Our projects in Gujarat will be developed under the guidelines of Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), said Mr Brotin Banerjee, Managing Director and CEO, adding Tata Housing is currently developing over 4.50 crore sq ft which is under various stages of development built under the IGBC guidelines.

Asked how these measures would impact prices, he said the initial cost for developing a green building may be higher by 5-7 per cent than that of a conventional building, but the long-term benefits are many. “This extra cost can be recovered in two-three years through energy savings and low operational and maintenance costs.”

The Adani project

The Adani Group's integrated township project, “Shantigram”, would have nearly 13,000 dwellings (including 5,000 for the low-income groups) with common amenities. Over the next seven - 10 years, it would have investments of up to Rs 10,000 crore.

Currently the biggest township in the State, it would have separate residential and commercial sectors. Located along the Narmada Canal, the 616-acre township will have 25 lakh sq mt of residential area.

“Although we would not have an officially certified green township, we are taking steps to make it look like a township within a forest-like environment,” said Mr Chintan N. Parikh, Director, Adani Township & Real Estate Company (ATRECO). The green measures are expected to bring down the township's temperature by two degrees Celsius, he said. “We will plant around 75,000 trees of different varities all around in a sort of “museum of trees”. It will have a 6-7 acre dense forest to function like a vast lung. Our houses will be between the trees, not vice-versa,” said Mr Tarwinder Singh, CEO.

The Adanis will manage the township for 15 years, which will have 80 per cent open area with 100 per cent water recycling facilities and zero discharge.

The recycled water will be used for landscaping, air-conditioning and cleaning purposes while drinking water would come from the Narmada Canal. Besides, with rain harvesting facilities, water from rooftops will be collected into the recharge wells to increase water table of the area.

Also, the township would discourage use of fuel, restrict movement of polluting vehicles, provide bicycles for internal transportation and CNG or electricity-run buses on circular routes to link the township with the city.

The Adani Group headquarters and offices of its various companies will also be shifted to the township in a new building with eight lakh sq ft constructed area and multi-level parking.

‘Canyon' experience

The Rs 5,000-crore Gokul Group, which diversified recently from edible oil to realty, will offer a ‘canyon' like experience to those buying the 190 residential plots in their upcoming township “Swa”. The Group company, Gokul Infracon Pvt Ltd, had bought 60 acres of land for Rs 520 crore for this township in which 70 per cent open space.

Situated near Chandkheda, the township, said to be the most expensive in Gujarat so far, will have a well-crafted green canyon spread over an area of around 50,000 sq yds. With 10 acres of green open space at the heart of the expanse, the central canyon will traverse through the entire neighbourhood, soar up to 20 feet at the Shikhar (Pinnacle) and dip down 50 feet at the Jal Kund (Water Reservoir), creating a sense of movement from piety to pleasure, said Mr Bipin Thakkar, a company spokesman.

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