T. Nandakumar

Costford designs project to be implemented under JNNURM

To improve living conditions of families

There will be 23 dwelling blocks

Thiruvananthapuram: The City Corporation is preparing to launch a major reconstruction project for the Kannamoola bund colony to improve living conditions of the occupants and provide better facilities.

Designed by the Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development (Costford), the Rs.2.8-crore project will be executed by the Habitat Technology Group.

Mayor C. Jayan Babu said the project would be taken up with funding from the Union government under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). “The formal inauguration will take place later. Being a priority project, we decided to start the work immediately,” he said.

Ward councillor R. Satheeshkumar said the project would come as a relief for the 115 resident families who were 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 residents have been waiting for years for the project to take off. They are pinning their hopes on time-bound completion of the work,” he said.

Levelling work

The ground-levelling works are expected to begin this week. Every monsoon, many of the rundown houses in the bund colony collapse or suffer serious damage and the inhabitants are relocated to safer places. The houses lack sanitation facilities. Water stagnation and garbage accumulation worsen the situation. Household wastes are thrown into the canal, adding to the pollution.

Costford conducted detailed surveys covering topographical, socioeconomic and engineering aspects and prepared contour maps for the area. Its executive director, P.B. Sajan, said the design elements were carefully selected to help the residents supplement and maintain a healthy environment.

Cluster type

The proposed layout is in the form of clusters built around a community space. “The design facilitates the creation of several interactive community spaces instead of a large centralised open space,” Mr. Sajan says.

The entrance to the colony overlooks a central open space and the community hall placed beyond acts as a strong focal point.

The large open spaces in the colony can be used for community gatherings or as parks to improve social interaction.

“All community spaces are overlooked by front yards of houses so that they do not turn into dead or antisocial spaces,” Mr. Sajan says.

A sculpture near the entrance will act as a landmark and impart a collective identity for the community. The proposed dwelling block design 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 plant will be fuelled by biodegradable household waste. A compost pit will help to recycle organic wastes that cannot be channelled into the biogas plant.

The colony is to be provided with 15 public taps. All the houses will be connected to a municipal sewer line. Storm-water drains have been proposed for all the roads. A retaining wall will prevent overflow from canal. The designers have also proposed two types of bio-fencing along the canal for segregation and enhancing aesthetic appeal. Common facilities include a public toilet near the community hall, a playground-cum-meeting space and a market in the neighbourhood to cater to the needs of the families in the colony.

An anganwadi for 25 children and a day-care centre for mentally challenged people have been built into the design. A health clinic has been proposed to provide basic medical facilities and keep a tab on sanitation so that epidemics are checked.

A study-centre-cum-library will provide a facility for children. The colony will have 10 sales kiosks that will provide additional income generation for socially weaker sections, including widows, physically challenged individuals and the aged.