Bhubaneswar, August 6 (LocalWire): With Odisha exposed to vagaries of recurring cyclones, experts have suggested constructing cyclone-resistant houses in the state that can withstand high wind speed.
Cyclone Fani had battered 14 coastal districts of the state, resulting in loss of human lives and damage to infrastructure besides tree cover.
The housing sector was hit the the hardest, damaging nearly 3.62 lakh units of houses across the cyclone-hit districts.
‘The damage to housing can be attributed to two factors, quality of houses and poor quality of construction,’ according to a disaster Damage, Loss, and Needs Assessment (DLNA) study jointly compiled by the state government, the Asian Development Bank, the United Nations and the World Bank.
Cyclone reconstruction is an opportunity to incrementally replace all houses and provide safe and affordable housing to reduce human and economic costs in recurrent cycles of disaster.
The key strategy is owner-driven reconstruction done through massive capacity building and skills training in disaster-resilient construction technologies, the joint study report suggested.
The owners should be assisted by government-run housing facilitation centres, each staffed by a technical team of three engineers and architects supported by three technical assistants.
The team would work over a duration of 18 months with house owners, masons and carpenters to oversee training and construction and certify its structural worthiness, the report maintained.
Alternative and environmentally sustainable construction materials for house construction will have to be explored.
Reconstruction of houses headed by women, physically challenged, the elderly and low-income individuals should be prioritized with the objective of providing safe shelter for all vulnerable people within five years, it added.