KOCHI: The recent floods left a huge trail of destruction all over the state in its wake. Into a damage-control mode, several builders in the district have started redesigning and revamping the structure of their buildings to ensure it withstands any natural calamity.
"The flood was a learning experience. Though we were aware that places like Aluva would be inundated during a flood, we didn't anticipate the magnitude of the disaster. It was shocking to see Periyar changing its course and flooding homes and buildings at unexpected areas in Aluva. As prominent builders, we cannot remain immune to such situations. Our latest project, which will be unveiled in Kochi, is being constructed as per a revised design," said Sunil Kumar, managing director of Asset Homes, a luxury builder.
According to him, the builders have decided to dedicate the first three floors of their building for parking alone. "This will reduce the risk of flooding inside the flats. We can also ensure there is little damage to their homes. In most natural calamities, the ground and the first few floors are always at a high risk. This is why we decided to discard the underground parking system which was followed in our previous properties. We don't want to put our buyers at risk," he said.
There will also be a dedicated area where people can gather in case of emergencies. "When the floods came calling, flat-owners were left high and dry as they were forced to remain within the confines of their flats. This was the case, especially for small flats as the buildings did not have a dedicated space or lobby where people can congregate during such emergencies," Sunil Kumar said.
Meanwhile, another prominent builder said they have become very choosy about the location of the plots they purchase. "This is definitely, the first and most prominent aspect every builder considers when he purchases a property. However, post-floods, we saw first-hand which areas were the most prone to such disasters. We have consolidated data from government agencies such as the PWD and the Irrigation Department about the areas that are susceptible to natural calamities and which are safer. I think every builder should take up this responsibility and coordinate with government agencies in this regard," said K Lava, managing director, SFS Homes.