| The micro-business centre near Kargil Basti in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Sanjib Mukherjee |
Bhubaneswar, Oct. 18: A pre-fabricated micro-business centre, which has been constructed for Rs 22 lakh, has doubled up as a cyclone shelter, near Kargil Basti here.
The shelter has been home to more than 1,000 people in the city since the night of October 12 when Phailin hit the state.
The structure has become a role model of sorts. It needs less money for construction than a concrete structure of similar size and can be dismantled and moved to different locations easily. Its maintenance cost is also low.
Such pre-fabricated or pre-engineered buildings are made of galvanised iron beams joined with nuts and bolts. The roof and walls are made of special galvanised steel and aluminium sheets.
Narrating his experience of the night of October 12, Kargil Basti resident Ananda Chandra Parida said: “Local people started moving to the centre immediately after hearing the cyclone warning. By midnight, around 1,200 people entered the building. As the windows are yet to be fixed, we diverted some of the people to the nearby night shelter constructed by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation. Some people also went to the nearby school Vani Vidyapeeth.”
“The next morning all the people assembled at the trade centre where cooked food was served to them. The space was enough to accommodate most of the cyclone victims of Kargil Basti,” said Parida.
The micro-business centre, the construction of which cost only Rs 22 lakh, accommodated around 1,000 people. However, the night shelter on its opposite side, which the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation built for Rs 30 lakh, was able to accommodate less than 100 people.
The pre-fabricated structure for the trade centre is constructed on public-private partnership mode by Centurion University and the municipal corporation to provide livelihood training to the urban poor. It took only less than a month to erect the entire structure.
The funding for this came from the Union ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation under the National Urban Livelihood Mission. The state government has given permission to use the land.
“The micro-business centre will provide livelihood support to 500 families in a year. At present, we are offering training on dry food and apparel making,” said president of Centurion University Muktikanta Mishra.
The central government has given Rs 80 lakh for the development of the trade centre. The Union ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation has selected it as a role model so that it can be replicated in other cities as well.