Kerala: Innovative housing scheme for people in tiny backwater islands
People living in sinking tiny backwater islands in southern Kerala hope that an innovative housing system coming up there would end the threat of displacement arising out of inundation due to global warming. An eco-friendly amphibious housing model is being developed by a group of architects for poor and vulnerable people, who live in constant fear of floods in Munroe Thuruth islands in Kollam.
Project being implemented on a pilot basis by CPI(M)
The project is being implemented on a pilot basis by the CPI(M), Kerala's ruling political party. CPI(M) politburo member S Ramachandran Pillai on Friday laid the foundation stone for first such amphibious house at Munroe Thuruth, which is a group of some tiny islands.
CPI(M) leader Balagopal took the initiative to address the problem
The tiny islands were formed by backwaters of scenic Ashtamudi Lake and Kallada river. Panchayat authorities said they were seeking a solution for providing affordable housing for people in the shrinking tiny islands, ranging from one acre to over one hectare. CPI(M) leader and former Rajya Sabha member KN Balagopal took the initiative to address the housing problem in Munroe Thuruth.
Scheme to provide living facilities during waterlogging and normal conditions
Balagopal said the party discussed the idea of amphibious housing as the water level was going up in some islands due to climate change. "People find it very difficult to survive in such islands as saline water has invaded their houses. So we thought about a housing scheme which can provide living facilities for them both during waterlogging and normal conditions," said Balagopal.
The amphibious houses are built with lightweight material
Balagopal said the roofs, floors, and walls of the amphibious houses are built with lightweight material. Their architectural features would help survive in islands' adverse climatic conditions. These houses can be designed to float with the rising water or constructed on stilts.
It is a new concept in India: Jairam Ramesh
"It is a new concept in India", former Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said, hailing the initiative to provide safe housing solutions for the affected people in the area. "Politics aside, it appears a very interesting and innovative idea. I hope there has been professional involvement," the Congress leader said when his attention was drawn to the move by the CPI(M).