September 1, 2017
Kochi: The Kerala Government has come up with a new light-weight budget house concept for the people living in the sinking islands of Munroethuruthu. A trial run of such houses will be made during the National Games in Thiruvanthapuram to accommodate participants.
Made of synthetic items, these houses are expected to withstand damage caused by saline water from Ashtamudi Lake that surrounds the island and inundates it during monsoon.
The new houses will also address the problem of traditional ones faces of sinking due to loose soil conditions. The island has been facing a rare phenomenon of houses sinking gradually over a period.
The panchayat had requested the Chief Minister to find a solution to the issue. As an option, the concept of light weight houses was mooted and five such ones were made of gypsum board, according to a panchayat member.
About 400 houses face the risk and the island has more than 1,600 families. Many have on their own built light weight homes that have aluminum roofs.
Some have relocated themselves to the mainland near Kollam selling their land at throwaway prices.
The government has also distributed more than 200 light weight bio toilets spending Rs 1.5 crore. The Kerala State Suchitwa Mission is overseeing the setting up of the toilets. Installation of 100 toilets has been completed.
Munrothuruthu comprises eight islets covering over 13.4 sqkm. Many canals flow through the region and are used by tourism department. Filling of land has been banned in the island.