BENGALURU: Each time you buy a toy, your childhood memory is most likely to go to wooden toys made in Channapatna. Every time you think of sandalwood products or artefacts, it is the state handicraft emporiums you turn to. But how and where do skilful artisans who make these perfectly crafted items live?
The Karnataka State Handicrafts Development Corporation (KSHDC) has come up with an idea to construct vertical homes for these artisans, as big land parcels are difficult to find and land prices have soared across the state.
The department has taken the magnifying glass to go through the fineprint of various housing schemes introduced by the State and Central Governments to find the best-suited one. The department is thinking of constructing apartment complexes at its existing land parcels in districts where the concentration of artisans is high.
‘Surveys on to identify housing spots’
The state has 12 crafts complex clusters, including at Mysuru, Sirsi, Sagar, Bidar, Shivamogga, Bengaluru and Channapatana, where housing complexes too can be constructed. The officials have also approached the Textiles Department, under which handicrafts falls, and written to the Rajiv Gandhi Housing Corporation to consider available schemes.
The department has contacted Housing Minister V Somanna but is waiting for a reply. One of the main schemes that is under consideration is the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and to see if it allows vertical housing schemes. KSHDC Managing Director D Roopa told The New Indian Express that surveys are being done at places where the housing complexes could be built.
The survey will also tot up the number of artisans who require housing. The department has properties that are over 30-40 years old, but parts of which are being used for various purposes now. These spaces can be freed up for building apartments, she said. “Under the Awas Yojana, a percentage of the cost of the construction is borne by the Centre, while the rest has to be put in by the State Government. We need to be practical,” she said. As per their study till now, there is no scheme across the country that allows vertical housing. Clarity is being sought, she added.