The first phase of the project to regenerate the Bund Colony at Kannamoola, near here, is nearing completion, despite the crisis caused by the scarcity of river sand and the increase in price of construction materials.

Launched by the City Corporation, the reconstruction project seeks to improve living condition of the occupants and provide better facilities.

Ward councillor R. Satheeshkumar said the construction of 10 blocks, each comprising five dwelling units, was moving towards completion. “Work on the community hall will begin soon,” he added.

Designed by the Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development (Costford), the Rs.2.8-crore project is being executed by the Habitat Technology Group with funding from the Centre under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

Mr. Satheeshkumar said the project would come as a relief for the 115 families who are forced out of their homes by floodwaters every year during the rains. He said it was designed to convert the colony into a mini-township with better living conditions.

The project is expected to be formally inaugurated later this month. “We began the work without much fanfare because the residents were growing restless over the failure to take up the project under the Valmiki Ambedkar Awas Yojana (VAMBAY). They are pinning their hopes on time-bound completion of the work,” he said.

Every monsoon, many of the rundown houses in the bund colony collapse or suffer serious damage as the water level in the Amayizhanjan canal rises, forcing the inhabitants to shift to safer places.

The colony is being reconstructed in the form of clusters built around a community space. The design facilitates the creation of several interactive community spaces. The entrance to the colony overlooks a central open space and the proposed community hall acts as a focal point.

Each dwelling block comprises five units with three on the ground floor and two on the first.

The colony will have 23 blocks. Each unit, covering a floor area of 25 sq.m., will have either ground or terrace area for future expansion.

Under the proposal, each settlement is to be provided with a biogas plant generating electricity for streetlights and illumination of open spaces. The colony is to be provided with public taps and all houses will be connected to the sewerage network.