The residents of Santhom Colony in Mundamvely can heave a sigh of relief. They have been making do with poor infrastructure and minimum facilities for years. The Kochi Corporation has decided to construct houses for the 104 economically backward families residing at the colony. The project is funded under the Centrally-sponsored Basic Services to Urban Poor (BSUP) scheme which envisages house construction at affordable cost for slum dwellers, urban poor and other categories.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will launch the housing project at the Thoppumpady ground on Monday.
Addressing reporters here on Friday, Kochi Corporation Mayor Tony Chammany said that the cost of each house would be `7.92 lakh and 104 houses will be constructed at a total cost of `8.24 crore apart from the `3.80 crore for the basic facilities. Each house will have two rooms and a toilet which will be constructed on a total of 32.24 square metres.
Each block will comprise three floors and two families will be housed in each.
“We received the funding from the Central Government in 2009. However, due to the escalating prices of sand and cement, the fund was insufficient. The Kochi Corporation has approached BPCL and Union Bank for further funding.
The construction work will be undertaken by the FACT Engineering and Design Organisation (FEDO) using a unique methodology - range of wall plaster or putty made from gypsum plaster base which is a unique light weight material offering better insulation from heat and sound and with good passive fire protection.
The work of the project will be completed within 10 months, FEDO civil chief engineer A R P Sen said.
The model has been adopted in IIT Chennai and FACT in Kochi. This is the first time it is being adopted for a govt-initiated construction. The use of gypsum plaster will bring down the construction cost by 30 per cent, officials said. “With the escalating cost of cement and sand which is short, gypsum methodology is a better alternative,” said Sajo, deputy chief engineer, FACT.