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ver since the CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre (GBC) began operations from its new location in February 2004, it has been eagerly awaiting its formal inauguration by the President of India, Hon'ble Abdul Kalam. The momentous day arrived on 14 July, 2004, during the President's day-long visit to Hyderabad.
The President, accompanied by Surjeet Singh Barnala, the Governor of Andhra Pradesh, and Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, arrived at the site at 5.40 p.m. and stayed on well beyond the 45 minutes that were allotted for his visit. After unveiling the "foundation stone", the President cut the ribbon and lit the traditional lamp to formally inaugurate the building. He was escorted round the Centre by Jamshyd N. Godrej, Chairman, CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre, and Sunil Kant Munjal, President, Confederation of Indian Industry.
The President showed keen interest in all the exhibits in the Permanent Technology Centre and the Green features of the GBC. He then planted a sapling to commemorate his visit. This was followed by a formal function for nearly 1,000 guests in a specially erected air-conditioned hangar.
In his welcome address, Jamshyd remarked that in Hon'ble Abdul Kalam we have a distinguished scientist, a visionary par excellence, an extraordinary communicator and an inspiring personality. He recalled the President's close association with his late uncle Sohrabji Godrej, and added that the President's presence at the inauguration of the GBC was a fitting tribute to Sohrabji's vision and passion for the preservation of the environment.
moved by what he saw, the President said: "The place makes you fall in
love with it." In his inaugural address he commended the initiative taken
by the Centre to propagate the Green Building Movement in the country and
lauded its mission, "Green Makes Business Sense". He exhorted the CII to
develop Green Building codes and urged that every effort should be made
to reduce energy consumption from its present level of 300 kilowatt hours
per square metre per year (kwh/sqm/year) to 100 kwh/sqm in the next five
years and achieve the German standard of 50 kwh/sqm/year. The President
concluded his address with a fervent appeal that "for our future generations
to survive, we must be friendly to the earth".
Surjeet Singh Barnala appreciated the initiative taken by the CII in catalysing the Green Building Movement in the country and wished the CII success in its endeavours.
Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy expressed happiness that the CII is focusing on key issues such as water management, and stated that the Government of Andhra Pradesh was actively taking up the case for bio-diesel production as part of its Green initiative.
The grand, well-conducted and well-attended function concluded with a Vote of Thanks by Sunil Kant Munjal, who assured the distinguished gathering that the CII is committed to play its role in making India a developed nation by 2020, and that the CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre is also committed to promoting sustainable development in the country. He expressed his profound gratitude to the distinguished guests for their gracious presence and for making the event an "unforgettable" experience.
Cmde. S.C. Kumar