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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Er. RamaRao– a guiding light of FACEAT &P

Er. RamaRao
– a guiding light of

An Article from Our Building and Construction

Civil engineers of the state of Tamil Nadu would be grateful to
Er N RamaRao, Er Kumaran, Er R MohanRaj and Er S Rajendran for their efforts in mooting the idea of
a single confederacy and assembling their fraternity together through their respective associations to form
Federation of All Civil Engineers Associations of Tamil Nadu and
Puducherry (FACEAT&P).

 And one of them is revered ever as their friend, philosopher and guide – he is RamaRao, the charter
president of FACEAT&P. He, along with MohanRaj, was instrumental in mobilizing the civil engineers
all over the state and making them realize their true potential.

They have been working restlessly in the last 6-7 years for the civil engineering community and their
family - their uplift and welfare. There are no words to describe. And now the federation is probably the
first of its kind in the country.

A civil engineer by profession with wide experience, the 65-yearold RamaRao pioneered many
innovative structures including single and double basement buildings in Salem during his 30-
plus years of practice. He is the charter president of Salem Civil Engineers Association, a pioneer of
all civil engineers association across the state

He was instrumental in mustering support to FACEAT&P formation. Having served so long for the civil
engineering society and all his commitments fulfilled, he is now relaxing with a lighter assignment
and is involved in religious activities.

He narrates FACEAT&P story, his experience and other relevant information in an interview. Excerpts
of the interview follow:

Tell us about FACEAT&P, its origin, growth, etc….

It all started when we organised protest against cement price hike.
It was mooted by Er Kumaran who was the president of Salem Civil Engineers Association at that time.
He suggested fighting the cause unitedly with similar associations from other parts of the state. And
we mobilized civil engineers other areas and successfully conducted the
protest rallies.

At that time, we discussed the idea of a common platform for us
and immediately implemented it. Thus was formed the FACEAT&P.
Kumaran compelled me to be the president of the federation and every
other people seconded it.

Er Kumaran became treasurer and Er MohanRaj was the secretary for
the new confluence. Er Rajendran, the current president, was elected
the vice president.

Following my tenure, Er MohanRaj took over presidentship
and performed excellently. There are also many other people who worked
towards shaping up of the federation - Er Chandramouli from Erode,
Er Thayumanavan of Cuddalore, Er Gandhi from Kumbakonam, Er
Senthilkumar from Sirkazhi and Er ‘Mama’ Kalyanasundaram to name
a few.

How were you able to convince the member associations?
When we started off, we were faced with obstacles. Many raised
eyebrows at the formation and apprehensions reigned. But now I can look back satisfactorily given
that we have developed brotherhood among civil engineering fraternity.

In the initial stages, myself and MohanRaj traveled extensively driving over 15 lakh kms and
interacted with many people. We convinced every one of them that
unity is strength. Our hard work paid off.

The number of associations affiliated to FACEAT&P increased
from 30 at the start to over 48 during my tenure and now it is 68. This
included Puducherry also and the member size has increased from
3000 at the beginning to 8000 now.

The strength is still growing. And now I need not worry about
new places as wherever I go I can easily get the help, professionally
and personally as well, of engineers located in the area. This is the case
for any engineer from any part of this state.

The reason behind the founding of FACEAT&P
was cement price hike but what sustained federation?
We began with cement price hike. We bore the fruit of being united.
And only when engineers started meeting each other through such
platform, we came to understand every other’s problem and expertise.

In one association, approval seemed to be a major problem and in
another, there was a member who is an authority in rules and regulations
all over Tamil Nadu.

Problems with cement affect general public also. In a way, that
took us closer to the public. But we found later that these were not at all
an issue and were faced with much bigger hurdles. Sand issue was even

And we found building plan approval, engineer registration and
LPA (Local Planning Authority) membership directly affected
only us. If you take building plan approval, a plan to be approved in
Yercaud only if architect signs and not the engineer. This is because of
Architects’ council efforts.
Almost all parts of Tamil Nadu fall under seismic area. In such a
situation, weightage of stability and aesthetics has to be introspected.
I have no hard feelings with our brethrens but want to spell reality.

In Kerala, an engineer, registered in a particular place, is allowed
to practise and submit drawings anywhere in the state but with
proportionate fees structure. But it is not the same in Tamil Nadu and the
practice is restricted to the place of registration. .

The Boards of LPAs in Tamil Nadu do have members other than
relevant civil engineer. We need to change this trend. And Engineers Bill has to be passed.
No politician is concerned about it. There is no proper representation in
favour of the Bill. We only have to take initiative. We are taking steps to
pass the bill in the parliament.

Tell us about activities of FACEAT&P and its
hierarchy… The federation was initiated by
Kumaran with a view of taking it globally. And MohanRaj has been
actively involved in bringing the union to this level. He has put up a
lot of efforts and that should not be squandered.

Thus we have decided to be fully involved in development of
FACEAT&P upto five presidential tenures and until it reaches a level
of consolidation with solidarity. We have been working towards setting
up a governing body so that the federation functions in an orderly
manner. There is already a high level committee but that is only an
advisory body.

Your plans of taking the forum to the national level…
Yes, we have plans but it will take some time. First of all, we want to
build the state level league stronger. Then we can reach other states.
There are no concrete developments in other southern states except for
In Karnataka, there are not many associations and many towns
don’t have enough strength. But it will happen one day.

Your Engineers Day message…
I wish that our associations celebrate Engineers Day in such a
manner that our community is held in high respect in the society. Not
like Gandhi Jayanthi celebration, which is being observed without revering Gandhian ideologies.

Finally, about you… Completing diploma, I initially
worked with Tamil Nadu Housing Board, Best & Crompton and UMC
Steel. Then I started practising in Salem. I have constructed many
buildings in Salem.

After over 30 years of professional practice, I planned to lead a retired
life, but one of my clients wanted to look after their group activities. Thus I have taken up the assignment.
My two sons, both civil engineers, are well settled in Gulf. My daughter
is well settled in Hosur with her spouse with TVS.

Other main articles

Concrete Innovations

Er RamaRao
– a guiding light of FACEAT&P

Natural Pest Control

A Guide to Integrated Pest Management

The 3 Rs of Sustainable Site Design

Main Street Bridge Tips to Decorate your home by Bianca

FACEAT&P Association News

Salem Civil Engineers Association

FACEAT&P Member Welfare Trust President’s Message
COCENA Celebrates Engineers Day

CEAT Celebrates Engineers Day gleefully
President’s Message - Pledge Our Commitment

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