Award for VTV’s eco-friendly design

Vrindavan TechVillage (VTV), India’s only LEED Platinum certified SEZ, has won another accolade for its eco-friendly design and commitment to environmental sustainability. Real estate forum MIPIM has declared VTV as the winner of the Green Buildings Category as part of the awards programme at MIPIM Asia in Hong Kong.

The Tech Village has also set a first for commitment to sustainability and eco-conservation. Vrindavan TechVillage is a platinum certified LEED SEZ with two statutory bodies, the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and US Green Building Council (USGBC) having accorded this status to the Park in recognition of its commitments to promoting environmental sustainability.  

Several aspects of VTV’s design, including air-conditioning system design and choice of refrigerants, design of energy and lighting systems, sustainable site operations and water efficiency, have ensured that VTV is designed to international ecological standards and meets guidelines set by the Ministry of Environment and Forest


Scouring unclaimed property lists

The cache of unclaimed property in Colorado, money or other valuables that people have long-forgotten or that simply bypassed them, has become a popular hunting place in these tough economic times. The number of people inquiring about unclaimed property Colorado holds is up more than 30 per cent from July to October compared to the same period last year.

Already 9,000 people and businesses have collected about $8 million. That projects to about the same amount paid out as last year, $25.5 million, and to 27,000 people collecting, or roughly a third more than last year.

With more than $500 million in cash and belongings left behind by owners, the state has a virtual lost-and-found treasure trove, much of it made up of small amounts of money. Until recently, it’s usually been too small, 10 bucks here or $100 there, for anyone to be bothered, according to those who oversee the funds. “Many times folks just didn’t think it was worth the hassle to collect it,” said Patty White, director of Colorado’s unclaimed property fund at the state Treasurer’s office.

That’s changed, White said. “They’re claiming all amounts now, no matter what.”
That’s evident in the payouts. The smallest amount someone has bothered to collect: 63 cents.

Some say the crush of claims is a strong indicator that the economy is pushing people to grab what they can. “There are not a lot of alternatives and people are doing what they can to make a buck,” said Richard Wobbekind, professor of business economics at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business.

“It’s not just the unemployed, but the shocking number of under-employed searching for any place they can to moonlight,” he said. “We’re seeing stuff we never thought we’d see. People are looking under any rock they can.”

The state gets the leftover money after five years. That includes abandoned bank accounts, rebate checks that never were cashed or never made it to the owner or forgotten safe deposit boxes. Businesses are required to make an effort to locate the owner, but many times that's too costly to do.

There were more than 137,000 inquiries last fiscal year about unclaimed property, compared to 77,000 during the 2007-08 fiscal year. The 38,000 inquiries already since July is heading toward another record, White said. Last year, the state gave back more than $25.5 million to 18,246 people and businesses. This year it’s looking to set a record. “Everybody’s out there looking,” White said.

Colorado has been collecting unclaimed property since 1988, the year after the legislature created the fund, the last state in the nation to do so. Ever since, White’s seen an interesting array of items roll in, from old stocks and bonds to a seven-carat Canary diamond ring valued at nearly $80,000. Some are eventually sold, the money held in escrow in perpetuity for the owner or their heirs.

David Migoya, NYT News Service