Kerala to promote prefabricated houses, structures in the wake of calamities

Kerala to promote prefabricated houses, structures in the wake of calamities
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said new materials are being used for building homes across the world.

Thiruvananthapuram: In the wake of recurring destructive natural calamities in the state, the Kerala government has decided to promote prefabrication in a big way. New projects under the Life Mission, the mass housing scheme of the state government, will make use of this technique. It has been also decided to introduce prefabrication technology to build not only houses but also other structures across the state where natural resources like soil, brick and rock are integral in construction.

"A campaign will be held to introduce the method to the public," Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said after the cabinet meeting on Thursday.

Keralites do not know much about it, though the technology is quite popular globally, he said.

"It might not be well received initially, but a change in attitude will increase acceptance. Durability and comfort will make them attractive," the chief minister said.

Pinarayi said studies to identify habitable and non-habitable areas are essential.

Prefabrication is the practice of assembling parts of a structure and shifting fully or partially assembled units to its construction site.

The state-level empowered committee of Life Mission has decided to use this method to build housing complexes. Such houses could be installed within days.

The advantages of prefabricated units are minimal use of conventional methods and limiting use of natural resources, including sand and rocks.

They can also withstand natural disasters. Made of light and durable materials, they are easy to build and that too within days.

Panel formed

Meanwhile, the government has formed an expert committee to find areas suitable for habitation in the aftermath of heavy rain and floods. The panel will analyse scientifically the terrain, current use of land and its solidity, including those in ecologically sensitive areas.

The panel will look into reasons behind heavy rain and the disasters that follow. It will also identify reasons for landslides and suggest remedial measures as well as spot areas vulnerable to natural disasters.

Prof KV Sudhir, principal secretary and vice-president of the Science and Technology Council, will be the convener of the panel.

He is also an expert in waters resources engineering.

The panel will include experts from Geological Survey of India, IIT Madras, Indian Meteorological Department and secretary and members of the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority. The panel will hold discussions with national and international experts.

It will submit a report in three months.

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