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Construction waste needs to be reused, say experts

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With a spurt in urbanisation, cities are facing serious environmental consequences due to construction and demolition waste which needs to be recycled and reused, experts said here Monday.

At a seminar "Waste to Resource", experts pointed out ways and means to reuse construction material to build buildings which are sustainable.

"India needs urgent intervention to protect its land, water, public space and environment from the egregious construction expected to explode with the urban boom," said Sunita Narain, director general of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

"The country is running out of natural sand, which is used in construction, but we have to keep on with our building activity and for that a very good option would be using construction and demolition waste material," Narain said.

Surya Kakani, an architect from Ahmedabad, who has built buildings using rubble, fly ash and broken bricks, said: "If we can identify small areas in cities where rubble can be recycled, it would save time and energy and make such recycled products cost-effective."

N.B. Mazumdar, chief technical advisor, IL and FS Environment Infrastructure and Services, a leading company in the waste-management sector, said: "Standards (for building) should be changed with time as new building norms are coming up."

Listing steps needed for ensuring quick recycling of building material, the CSE said the first and foremost need was for a change in rules of municipal bodies to push for optimised use of building space and materials and waste prevention.

It also favoured tax policies for waste generation and reuse to minimise waste and prevent unsafe disposal.

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