It will be a different game

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The National Games Village will have cottages made of prefabricated materials.

A mock prefabricated unit intended for the National Games Village on display at the Central Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram. — Photo: S. Mahinsha
A mock prefabricated unit intended for the National Games Village on display at the Central Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram. — Photo: S. Mahinsha

Sports infrastructure in Kerala will get a major boost in Kerala as the State hosts the 35{+t}{+h}National Games in December 2013. New stadiums, both open-air and indoor, arenas, swimming pools and so on will be built for the Games.

But the Games Village, one of the key infrastructure development initiatives undertaken for every National Games, will be different. Instead of the conventional apartments, Kerala will provide cottages made of reusable prefabricated material.

The Village, to come up on 20 hectares of land on the Technocity site, near Kazhakuttam, thus promises to bring in a revolutionary shift in the planning of, and infrastructure development for, national events of this stature by making use of “cost-effective, reusable technology.”

“What mainly led us to the decision to go for prefabricated materials for the Games Village is the savings in cost and time. Our requirement is to construct residential units covering a total area of four lakh square feet to house sportspersons for just 30 days. To construct a conventional apartment complex of this size, the cost at the existing rates will be around Rs. 400 crore. It will take more than a year to complete. But in this case, all you need to construct an entire games village is six months and Rs. 40 crore,” R. Anil Kumar, coordinator of the National Games Secretariat, says.

Usually, after every National Games, the Village, constructed similar to a housing complex or township, is handed over to the government to be converted into government quarters or sold by the contractors as apartments, usually to upmarket clients.

“However, here we found no specific requirement for government quarters. Besides, the sportspersons require a place to stay for just 30 days. It was logical to go for something that was easy to construct and cost-effective,” Mr. Anil Kumar says.

Not makeshift units

Although the cottages will be constructed out of lightweight prefabricated materials and will be dismantled after the Games, they have not been planned as makeshift structures with poor durability. To ensure quality and durability, the National Games Secretariat has laid out detailed prequalification criteria. To test the quality of the units, the three companies shortlisted in the technical bid for the project have been directed to erect mock units at three places in the city.

Experts from the National Building Construction Corporation and the Centre for Environment and Planning Technology, Ahmedabad, will evaluate the mock units for over six months to ensure that they meet the technical specifications. One such mock unit has been set up at the Central Stadium. “There will be no compromise on the quality of the cottages and the facilities provided in them. Once they are constructed and furnished, it will be like any other cosy living space. All facilities that can be provided in conventional apartments, including air-conditioning, can be provided in these units,” Mr. Anil Kumar said. Quality prefabricated materials last 15 to 20 years.

The National Games Secretariat wants the materials to be put to good use after the Games. It has reached an understanding with the officials of the next National Games to be held in Goa to use at least 50 per cent of the materials to construct the Games Village then.

“We have approached various government departments which can make good use of these quality building materials. The various uses identified are building rooftop rooms in schools, sports hostels and remote office sites and in rehabilitation and disaster management. Another major advantage of these structures is that you do not have to worry about Coastal Regulation Zone restrictions or building licence,” Mr Anil Kumar says.

The company that wins the bid for the construction of the cottages will have the responsibility for relocating the materials, he adds.





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