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Global technology challenge: Centre to provide innovation grant worth Rs 150 crore to six lighthouse projects

The technologies identified at the March conference will be implemented on a pilot basis in six regions across the country.

Vandana Ramnani @vandanaramnani1

The Centre will provide a technology innovation grant worth about Rs 150 crore to  lighthouse projects identified across six regions under the Global Housing Technology Challenge.

This will enable adoption of construction techniques that are affordable and take minimum time — as less as three months instead of the conventional three years for construction, sources from the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry said.

The India Housing Construction Technology Challenge, launched on January 14, is aimed at selecting the most cost-effective technology to speed up construction of affordable housing and meet the target of building over a crore houses by 2022. The initiative is under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U).

The government, under the initiative, will hold a 'grand expo-cum-conference' in the first week of March where global stakeholders will showcase their best technologies to build houses. The technologies identified at the March conference will be implemented on a pilot basis in six regions across the country.

The expo and conference will be held biennially (once every two years) in India to provide a platform to all stakeholders associated with housing construction. These six projects will demonstrate the merits of the selected technologies and serve as live laboratories for research, testing, technology transfer, increasing mass awareness and mainstreaming them across the country, they said.

“As many as 1,000 housing units in six regions would be constructed using new global technologies adapted to suit Indian conditions,” sources said.

These 6,000 units that will be constructed as lighthouse projects would receive the regular PMAY assistance of Rs 1.5 lakh from the state and the same amount from the Centre besides the innovation grant of Rs 2.5 lakh for each residential unit. The Centre intends spending about Rs 150 crore as part of the fund for these six lighthouse cities, they said.

Elaborating on the timelines, sources said a town hall or a pre-bid meeting for clarifications on the challenge will be held after January 26, post-which developer body Naredco will organize the Global Housing Technology Convention India, 2019 in March. An MoU for the same was signed on Monday. The technologies would be certified by CPWD between March and June. Works are likely to be awarded only in July, sources said.

GHTC-India - Chart 14012019

Launching the challenge on Monday, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri called for a paradigm shift in technology transition using large-scale construction under PMAY (U) as an opportunity to get the best available construction technologies across the globe.

He said the conventional system of housing construction is time-consuming as well as resource-intensive and emphasized that there is a need to look for new emerging, disaster-resilient, environment-friendly, cost-effective and speedy construction technologies.

“The shift in technology transition will also address the challenges of large-scale housing construction in minimum time and cost with optimum use of resources and environment friendly practices," he said.

Durga Shanker Mishra, secretary, MoHUA, said all stakeholders involved in construction industry, technology providers, construction agencies, developers and technical institutes would participate in the challenge.

Under the PMAY-U Mission, against the validated demand of about one crore housing units to be constructed by the year 2022, MoHUA has so far sanctioned around 70 lakh houses, out of which around 37 lakh have been grounded and around 15 lakh completed and allotted to beneficiaries, he said.

At the event, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said the time frame for construction of houses in the country must be reduced to four to five months.

The challenge has three components viz. i) Conduct of grand expo-cum-conference, ii) Identifying proven demonstrable technologies from across the world and iii) Promoting potential technologies through setting up incubation centers at selected IITs and organising accelerator workshops under the Affordable Sustainable Housing Accelerators- India (ASHA-India) Programme.

The PMAY-U, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2015, aims to construct more than one crore houses and ensure housing for all by 2022 by providing financial assistance to the beneficiaries.
First Published on Jan 14, 2019 10:16 pm
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