Forest Minister Benoy Viswam said here on Monday that the services 'Kalavara', the fair price shop for building materials, would be extended to all districts. The shops, run by State Nirmithi Kendra, are now functioning in Thiruvanathapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode, Trichur and Alappuzha. Shops would be started in the remaining districts this year itself.

The Minister said in an article, released in connection with World Habitat Day, that the shops were started to address the problem of rising prices in building materials. They would provide material for buildings with plinth area of up to 600 square feet without collecting any sales margins.

Mr. Viswam said that one third of the flats building under the innovative housing scheme of the State Housing Board would be reserved for women. The scheme was aimed to address the problem of workers living in the interior areas but employed in urban areas.

Currently, work was under way for 36 flats at Thrikkakara in Kochi and 16 flats at Poojappura in Thiruvanathapuram.

He noted that these were the first projects to he taken up by the Board in nine years.

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