‘Pandemic re-engineered the way we operate’

Rothin Banerjee, Area Director of Engineering – Delhi-NCR, Punjab, HP and J&K and Director of Engineering – Taj Palace, New Delhi, says he is always on lookout for innovative systems and pioneering concepts

For close to two decades, Rothin Banerjee has been associated with IHCL and it has been a journey which the Area Director of Engineering - Delhi NCR, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir and Director of Engineering – Taj Palace, New Delhi, says has been absolutely delightful and enriching. “I joined the organisation back in 2005 as Project Manager at the Taj Deccan, Hyderabad. I then essayed a dual role, handling both operations as well as projects. From the lobby and restaurant to the bar and the shopping arcade, for over two years, I led major renovation based project work at the hotel, in addition to ensuring the upgradation of the property’s MEP system,” he says.

Thereafter, at the Taj Krishna, Hyderabad where he handled engineering operations and spearheaded several sustainability focused initiatives such as the centralised sewage treatment plant for two properties (Taj Krishna and Taj Deccan), in-house lab, water treatment for use for horticulture and cooling tower purposes, a centralised laundry operation for all IHCL hotels in the city, the installation of high efficiency chiller screw and magnetic, the upgradation of service elevators, installation of high efficiency boilers etc). “At the Taj Palace, New Delhi, it has been an enriching role since 2010 when I moved to the Capital city. We remain an industry leader in the engineering domain and have successfully pioneered a host of initiatives that have set benchmarks for the hospitality industry,” shares Banerjee whose most memorable experience till now has been receiving the National Energy Conservation Award in 2016 for Taj Palace, New Delhi in recognition of the sustainability initiatives. “To receive a recognition at national level was truly an unforgettable moment,” he avers. 

Change in roles, post-pandemic

“The pandemic has been the biggest black swan event of our lives and has completely re-engineered the way we operate. From exploring systems that may reduce the efficacy of viruses to touchless operations, air purification, surface treatment, UV sanitisation, electrostatic precipitate devices, cam-fil, ionisation etc, we have had to go above and beyond what we usually did as Chief Engineers. Being agile and responsive to change and innovation is what has greatly benefitted many of us post the pandemic,” explains Banerjee.

Engineering innovations to save energy costs

Environmental stewardship as one of the key pillars of Paathya, our initiatives to lead positive change with IHCL’s core values of trust of all stakeholders, awareness around the needs of our ecosystem and joy at heart, he shares. “At Taj Palace, New Delhi, we are an EarthCheck Platinum Certified hotel and have pioneered a host of initiatives to drive our efforts under environmental stewardship: biogas plant; MBR & UF-based STP and ETP plant; chiller plant management; energy monitoring system; condensate heat recovery system; RE-Gen drive for elevators; on-site water purification and bottling plant; endo-cube device for cold rooms which reduces running hours of the compressor; VFD-driven motor and AHUs; auto-tube cleaner system for chiller condenser; agnisumukh burners which reduce gas consumption and heat load of ambient; low weight cooling tower fan etc,” Banerjee shares.

Water conservation methods

The Director of Engineering – Taj Palace, New Delhi, water conservation is one of the key areas of focus and ensuring maximum recycling and reuse is the goal at the property. “We have upgraded our existing STP & ETP with MBR & UF technology, which ensures the quality of treated water is equivalent to that of drinkable water. The ETP plant has been designed in a manner such that it recycles water back to laundry. Measuring and monitoring progress is critical and our online water monitoring system for all major areas at Taj Palace, New Delhi helps us in our analyses,” he says.

Sustainability initiatives

“Our monthly team meetings ensure free flow of ideas and suggestions for improvement. Sustainability is a continuous initiative and we are always on the lookout for innovative systems and pioneering concepts that will further out progress in the environment stewardship sphere,” explains Banerjee.

This article was published in BW hotelier issue dated '' with cover story titled 'BW HOTELIER - THE TALENT POOL SPECIAL'


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