KOCHI: Learning from the harrowing days of floods, flat owners and construction companies are leaving no stone unturned to secure their buildings. Insuring the structure is one major move in the direction.
"After floods, people are more aware of the need to insure. Only a few did it before. But now, it has become a widespread practice," said Haridas, DGM, United India Insurance Company.
Residents are also wary of the risks and are taking insurance at any cost. "It was a learning curve for us. Despite occupying a higher floor, we went through a tough time. The deluge had damaged everything. Had we insured, the aftermath wouldn't have been so worse. We don't want to take that risk again," said Vishnu, a resident of Aluva.
Many builders are joining the bandwagon. "Builders are insuring their projects during the construction phase itself. Once the work is over, it will get converted as a normal insurance policy. We are trying to convince families from the flood-affected areas to take up policies. As the trend is prevalent, we are expecting more families to follow the path," said Haridas.
KSEB mulls shifting generators
CREDAI Kerala treasurer M V Antony said they have approached the Kerala State Electricity Board seeking permission to instal generators and transformers in the upper floors."The biggest disaster that struck flats and apartments in the state was the lack of power supply during the floods. In most buildings, transformers and generators are placed at the ground level. This is based on the guidelines of the Electrical Inspectorate Standards set down by the KSEB, which came into effect after a fire incident so that inspections are easier for them. However, we have sought the KSEB permission to replace the transformers and generators to the top floors or the roof-top," he said.However, KSEB officials said there are practical difficulties. "We have to consider the standards and safety of the equipment. We specify the ground floor because it is easy to install heavy transformers and save maximum space. Equipment like transformers fails often and issues like oil change and sudden sparks need to be checked constantly. If we can find a solution, we will definitely put forward new guidelines," Mohammed Kasim, executive engineer, KSEB.
Another trend is seeking opinions from the disaster management experts in the initial stages. "We have been receiving several requests from construction companies seeking our opinion. We have asked them to follow the architecture pattern of countries like Holland which have gone through similar situations. But, it is time to change our priorities and move on to more eco-friendly systems," said an expert.