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Realtyplus Team  
Focus On Problems Of Designing Firms

Indian Institute of Interior Designers recently organized a discussion in Delhi on some of the problems that the designing firms are facing these days. Broadly, there are three.

One of them relates to the fact that most professionals have neither the time to interview and recruit interior designers, architects and other administrative staff, nor do they possess the knowledge and resources to go about it in the right way.

Once taken in, the next challenge is to retain the trained personnel. The lure of better salaries, specially from the BPO industry, has created a high attrition rate and a shortage of fresh talent. Finally, another recurring problem is associated with the ongoing training and education of both the employers and employees in the rapidly changing world of new materials, modern technology and innovative techniques.

The panelists who discussed these issues were Sanjay Bhardwaj, Director, Morphogenesis Architecture Studio Pvt. Ltd.; Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder-CEO, Info Edge (naukri.com) , Anil Laul, Founder, Anagpur Building Centre; K. T. Ravindran, Dean, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi; Pradeep Sachdeva, Principal Designer, Pardeep Sachdeva Design Associates; and Pradip K. Vaid, Country Head, Human Resources, Carlson Wagonlit Travel.

Importance Of Quake-proof Buildings Underlined

In view of India’s experience with earthquakes (Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir witnessed its fury in the recent past), a National Workshop on Earthquake- Resistant Structures was organized in Delhi last month by the UNDP-Omaxe Foundation for arriving at a general consensus among the stakeholders i. e. government, architects, engineers, academicians, builders and humanity at large. It was inaugurated by K.M. Singh, Member of National Disaster Management Authority.

India’s progress in the 21st century would be incomplete without the construction of safe housing for masses, said Singh, adding that 59% of land in our country is prone to earthquakes and over 20, 000 people have died due to earthquakes in the last 15 years. M Ramachnadran (IAS) Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, presided.

Welcoming the guests, the Chairman of Omaxe Foundation, Rohtas Goel, said that “in the era of vertical growth of building, the risk factor has increased and it is the duty of the construction companies to ensure the safety of its occupants by building earthquake-resistant buildings.”

Over 150 experts from a cross-section of professional bodies and institutions including UNDP, HUDCO, Geo Hazards International, Delhi College of Engineering, IIT Roorkee and Delhi, School of Planning and Architecture attending the two-day workshop. Galgotias College of Engineering and Technology was one of the main sponsors. The UNDP, which has been in the forefront of a campaign on disaster management worldwide, has provided the necessary resource and expertise in holding this workshop.

The key issues that were deliberated upon at the workshop were : awareness of quake-proof construction among stakeholders, addressing the needs and and capacity-building of professionals and construction artisans, the current building code theory and seismic design approaches by construction industry and cost implications and the role of various financial institutions with reference to earthquake-related constructions.

The experts at the workshop called upon the government, industry and the media to announce strict legal regulations to implement measures for the safety of human life by making earthquake-resistant structures. Special attention was drawn upon the media to support the cause.

The workshop was attended by Prof. A S Arya, Prof. Harsha Sinvhal, Dr. P S Rana, Malay Chatterjee, Hari Kumar, Rajeev Issar, Prof. Protima Rani Bose, Sandeep Donald Shah and professionals from various institutions.

SEZs Key To Office Realty Growth: TCM

Trammell Crow Meghraj, international realty consultants, recently launched in Mumbai the TCM Knowledge Centre’s latest strategy paper “Changing Dimensions --- Emerging Themes in Indian Office Real Estate Markets.”

Addressing the media on the occasion, Anuj Puri, Managing Director of TCM, and Tanaji Chakrabarti, president of TCM Knowledge Centre, revealed that the paper analysed the evolution of office space in the last 10 years and projected the course it will follow in the coming years. It also stated the implications of these trends and dynamics for real estate occupiers.

After a decade of growth, realignment, consolidation and expansion in the office sector, it is vitally important the understand the contemporary dynamics in order to correctly anticipate occupier choices in the near future. They further opined that the emergence of tier-II and tier-III cities and of special economic zones (SEZs) are the two aspects that would define this sector during the days to come.

300 Indian Construction Experts In Bauma China 2006

Bauma China 2006 has confirmed its leading position as the most important platform for the construction industry in Asia. The Third International Trade Fair for Construction Machinery, Building Material Machines, Construction Vehicles and Equipment, that took place from November 21 to 24, 2006, surpassed the last edition in 2004 in size as well as in the number of exhibitors and visitors.

One notable fact is that a huge delegation of 300 Indian businessmen, led by Orbit Tour and Trade Fairs Pvt. Ltd, took part in the Shanghai event.

The total number of visitors from all over the world was nearly 80,000, about 60% more than what it was two years. Four halls covering 46,000 square metres and an open air site with 104,000 square metres were fully booked. The space increased by 50% as compared the one on the preceding occasion. The number of exhibitors which stood at 1,088 marked a rise of 47%.

Bauma China has become a major platform for presenting products and corporate image since the visitors included both distributors and end-users.

Pointers To Raising Municipal Income

At a workshop on municipal finance in Jaipur recently, experts urged the urban local bodies there to convert optional charges into mandatory levy to enhance their monetary health and reduce dependence on the state government. They also suggested that the civic organizations levy user charges instead of the existing taxes that generated “negative feelings” among the people.

The workshop was organized by the Society for Participatory Research In Asia (PRIA). Those who attended it included elected representatives of the citizens, Members of the Rajasthan Finance Commission, officials of the Directorate of Local Bodies and representatives of civil society groups.

The participants felt that the municipalities must be given greater financial and functional autonomy along with the necessary technical training capacity building of the staff so that they are able to shoulder the additional administrative responsibility arising out of delegation of powers and functions.

It was also pointed out that there was no direct participation by citizens in budget preparation or any significant matter of urban governance.

Furniture & Handicrafts Steal The Show

Zak Trade Fair and Exhibitions Pvt Ltd., which is based in Chenna, had organized a four- day exhibition on construction material, interior design products, international furniture, furnishings and state-of-the-art handicrafts and artefacts at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, from January 25 to 28, 2007.

These products were displayed in large varieties and ranges to suit one and all.

Bronze icons, wood carvings, antique furniture, sandalwood figures, handicraft items and “durries” including Kalamkari prints were the main attraction of this expo.

A large number of different varieties of ornamental carved doors, international furnitures, antique wooden furniture and readymade kitchens were also exhibited.

Over 120 companies, both national and international, participated and more than 30,000 people visited this fair.

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