Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development (COSTFORD) and Laurie Baker Centre (LBC) is jointly organising a one day seminar on `Wholesome Development of Karimadom Colony’ to commemorate the visionary architect Laurie Baker’s birth anniversary on March 2.

The seminar, to be held at the colony, will discuss in detail the ongoing slum improvement project at Karimadom colony as well as the baseline survey conducted by Costford to study the socio-economic-environment conditions in the colony.

Costford is currently implementing a Rs 16 crore housing project at Karimadom as part of city Corporation’s Centrally funded Basic Services for Urban Poor scheme. The project includes construction of a total of 560 flats in 28 blocks spread across an area of 9.73 acres. The project also includes construction of community halls, study centres, markets, kiosks, biogas plant, public taps and walkways.

Construction of 120 flats has been completed under the project of which 80 have already been occupied.

Apart from infrastructure development Costford is also launching a host of social intervention and community development initiatives in the colony, in tune with Baker’s vision of wholesome community development, said Costford joint director P.B. Sajan.

``The Karimadom Colony project was envisaged by Laurie Baker long before the current BSUP project got underway. In fact it the last project that he personally involved in until a few days before his death. He always emphasized on the need for participatory planning to ensure economic development of community along with infrastructure development. The baseline survey we carried out in the colony was a step towards this,’’ Mr Sajan said

The survey brought out a number of insightful findings about the social, economic and living conditions of the colony residents. The survey revealed of 2341 people living in the colony 89% did not have a permanent source of income and that majority of the population dependent on daily wages. The survey also revealed the dilapidated state of existing infrastructure facilities in Karimadom colony.

The BSUP project at the colony includes improving basic infrastructure facilities and also providing scope for community activities. The layout is such that it creates several interactive community spaces along with a large centralized open space. Tree planting and playgrounds have been designed to facilitate community gathering, a statement issued by Costford said.

With 23% of colony population comprising of students, the project also provides ample scope for upliftment of the student community. This includes construction of health centre, anganwadi’s and study centres.

Kudumbasree executive director Sarada Muraleedharan will speak on the socio-economic component of Karimadom Plan at the seminar to be inaugurated by mayor K. Chandrika. Chairman of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Mumbai, L. Radhakrishnan will present a paper on `Energy efficient buildings’. Costford director T.R. Chandra Dutt will speak on Lauri Baker’s vision for slum improvement. Costford and LBC chairman K.P. Kannan, cultural activist Geetha Naryanan, deputy mayor G. Happykumar, Manacaud ward councillor P. Sasikumaran Nair, survey consultant Sajith Sukumaran and LBC member C. Kala will also speak.