Nath: CPWD needs makeover, Chinese model the way

Emulate the Chinese, Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath has urged government engineers. Pulling up the Central Public Works Department for its patchy work, he has called for an "image makeover" for the agency.

Addressing a CPWD gathering, Nath said on Tuesday that India has a huge "urban deficit" and in the next decade, 70 per cent of the GDP would come from urban areas. Nath said, "Buildings are the centre of our economic and social lives, but they also put a tremendous strain on the environment. Green buildings are key to sustainable housing. The CPWD needs to pay attention for its image makeover and redefine the brand."

He released a manual on green buildings and a book on planning office buildings, drafted by CPWD engineers and available for the construction industry.

"Heritage conservation is one thing that the CPWD should look into. It is the custodian of so many Raj Bhavans and old buildings. There should be a separate technical wing for heritage conservation and a separate rate schedule. Our engineers should have international exposure. Another area of concern is finishing...We got to have a manual on finishing also. It can be outsourced. Another complaint about government buildings is substandard joints. We should really see what China is doing. How they have trained their men, and engineers should have an eye for it," said Nath. He said that most of the CPWD land has been either encroached upon or not utilised properly.

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