Realty needs to build legions, brick by brick
Bridges over sewers
“It is a fact that there is a shortage of both civil engineers and architects. The problem has reached such proportions that several colleges are shutting down their civil engineering departments,” says PSN Rao, a professor at the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi.
“Earlier there were courses in public health engineering. Now hardly any institute offers it for there are neither teachers to impart knowledge nor students to enrol,” adds Rao. The discipline deals with design and operations of water supply and sewerage systems, the backbone of any city. “Currently civil engineering departments in elite institutes have branched into specialisations in roads, bridges, even nuclear reactor construction, but not this vital field,” says Rao.
With official statistics projecting the country’s population to hit 1.379 billion by 2020 of which 35.98 per cent or 496 million living in urban areas, the consequences would be enormous. It is already showing in our cities: well-designed bridges, flyovers, viaducts and world-class highways. But come one spell of a thundershower, and one gets to see the city’s Achilles Heel: overflowing drains and flooded roads.
The kind of urbanisation projected would entail a corresponding growth in real estate. The RICS study estimated a total incremental demand of 7,566 million square feet of which the residential segment accounted for 3,278 million sq ft and a near-about figure for the commercial and industrial segment.
By 2020, residential demand would balloon