Architect Abhishek Gupta, a man from Silchar, has been elected as a member of the National Committee for Green and Sustainability under the Indian Institute of Architects for the term 2020-2022. Indian Institute of Architects is a professional body for architects in India and has been operating in the country for over a period of 100 years.
When asked about his role as a member of the Green and Sustainability Committee under IIA, Gupta said, "Being a native of Northeast, I understand the beauty that lies within the nature and its greeneries. We in IIA, as members of the Green and Sustainability Committee, work for the upliftment of natural and indigenous products in constructing architectures." Gupta added, "We try to explore the beauty in making architectural structures using natural products, such as bamboos, engineered woods (timber), to name a few, that in turn helps the local stalls to flourish. Vocal for Local is a cause that we contribute towards."
The News Core arranged an online interview with Gupta on Monday to get his insights into the issues in Silchar, in connection with 'Green and Sustainability'. Gupta informed that Architecture and Environment are interrelated as each can have an effect on the other. "Green and Sustainability Committee promotes local and indigenous products, that results in the creation of employment and job opportunities in rural areas. The consequence is less urbanisation, thus contributing towards the welfare of environment", explained Gupta. He further added, "Construction works of buildings in cities are now-a-days hurried. When this pace crosses a threshold, it starts contributing towards environmental degradation."
Promoting the vernacular forms and styles of architectural practices, Gupta said, "The vernacular architectures are the optimum forms of construction to a particular area." Citing the 'Assam-type Architecture', as an example, Gupta said, "Assam is prone to earthquake. An assam type construction reduces the risk of casualties or damage due to collapsing of the structure, that makes it the ideal choice for architects in Assam." Besides, recalling his committee's agenda of 'Vocal for Local', Gupta added, "Constructing Assam type houses in Assam will result in the upliftment of the tin industry in the state. As a matter of fact, my own district, Cachar has the highest tin production capacity in entire India. Thus, promoting the vernacular form of architecture in Cachar, or in a broader sense, in Assam, will result into a positive slope in the economy of the district."
Gupta expressed his love towards his home city, Silchar and said, "I have a special affection for Silchar, that shall stay eternal. However, my fellow residents of Silchar should understand that the city is currently having a large contribution towards environmental degradation. According to me, poor waste management is the primary cause. There are designated dustbins in the city, but it's unfortunate that the locals dump their domestic wastes by the roadside." Gupta then added, "The city has a mentality that dumping their litters just outside their residence, by the roadside, is better than walking a distance to a designated dustbin. This mentality should change." Ensuring his support, Gupta said, "Silchar is my home, and we start from our home. Silchar should have a systematic green initiative. The administration, along with the people, should participate for the cause. If I am in anyway helpful for this initiative, I shall always be ready to merge myself with this and help the administration, through my specialization and technical understandings."
When asked to give his views about the project, that plans to convert the area within Gandhibagh, into an amusement park, Gupta opined, "Amusement Park should not be constructed in the premises of Gandhibagh. An amusement park is always welcomed, as it will add to the tourism industry in the city; however, not at the cost of environmental degradation. Silchar shall expand; there are large stretches of land in the outskirts of the town. An amusement park, constructed there, can result into an eco-friendly contributor towards tourism." Gupta then added to his statement, "Silchar shall learn to expand. The idea of further urbanising an already urbanised area causes unwanted and unmanageable crowds. Traffic jam has risen up to be a serious issue in Silchar. The stretch of road from Capital Point to Premtola stays crowded. The reason is that this area has become the only commercial hub of Silchar. Expand the town, divert traffic to other places, and this problem may get solved." Gupta said that a proper city plan for Silchar is largely required.
When asked about the poor market for architects in Silchar, Gupta said, "The possible reason can be lack of awareness among people about the role of an architect in designing a building. In addition to scratching out a floor map for the entire structure, we take into consideration, various technicalities, which are exclusive to a particular region, and then decide the best for a particular architectural project." Gupta further added, "An architect has knowledge about mechanics, electronics, and various other technical branches, in addition to architectural geometry, that makes him eligible to design a building, taking into consideration, all the dimensions of the project."
Architect Abhishek Gupta is an alumnus of Holy Cross School in Silchar and did his Higher Secondary studies in Adharchand HS School in the city. He was ranked 6th in Assam in AIEEE in the year 2003. Gupta did his B. Arch. course from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal. He did his post graduation programme in Construction Management. Besides being a member of the Green and Sustainability Committee under IIA, Gupta is also a member of Assam Association of Architects and is registered with the Council of Architecture. In addition to that, Gupta is a Patron and is in the advisory panel to Madhya Pradesh Technical Students Association. He was earlier the founding General Secretary and later promoted as the Vice President of the body. Moreover, Gupta was also the spokesperson for a political party, in the entire state of Madhya Pradesh. "I later resigned from my post in that political party as I stood against the OBC Bill, placed by the then HRD Minister of that political party. Besides, Gupta is associated with the NGO, Notun Jibon, an organisation based in Kolkata, that works for the cause of women empowerment in Sundarban and Kalighat Red Light Area. He is also a volunteer for the NGO, BHUMI. Ar. Abhishek Gupta aims to promote sustainable development in Silchar with the primary focus on Zero Waste.