| Workers lift the house of Patel Nagar resident Ram Mohan Jha with the help of jacks. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
Imagine a 900sqft house being lifted three-and-a-half feet just with the help of jacks.
Scary but true, the house number 20 of road number six in Patel Nagar is being lifted from the ground to avoid waterlogging during monsoon.
The house of Ram Mohan Jha (66), a retired section officer of the state industries department, used to get flooded every year during monsoon. After reading in newspapers about the technology being used in Sitamarhi, Jha decided he wanted to give his house a “lift”.
Sources in Patna Municipal Corporation said the technology has not been used in the state capital but they have heard of it being used in other places.
Divulging the details of the technology that is being used, Chunni Yadav, one of the workers associated with Vishwakarma & Co. that is associated with the process, said: “We cut the top layer of the soil near the plinth of a house that has caved in and remove the lower portion of the support from the base. We then fix the jacks below the plinth at a suitable distance before digging the soil.”
They then try to strengthen the base of the jacks with steel plates and wood logs to ensure that the tools do not collapse under the weight of the house. After ensuring that the weight of the house and the concrete plinth is equally distributed among the jacks, the levers of the tools are moved equally so that all the portions are lifted uniformly.
“But one has to be cautious while moving the levers. It has to be done in a careful way so that the plinth or any portion of the house is not hurt. Once the house is raised, we fill up the gap below the plinth with boulders and concrete mixture,” Yadav added.
Around 100 jacks of 100 tonne each are used in one project. Yadav added that it takes around two months to lift a house of this size and costs around Rs 2.5 lakh.
House owner Jha is proud that he is the first one in Patna to use the technology.
“It’s a wonder for Patna and for me as well because this technology is being used for the first time in Patna. What is funny is that we are living in the house but the entire building is standing on jacks. It was a daring step because anybody would think at least 100 times before allowing something of this kind,” said Jha.
He added that the plinth of the house was around 5ft when it was made in 1982 but after the road levelling work, the height of the road outside his house increased because of which rainwater entered the house.
“I was worried over waterlogging. Fortunately, I read about this technology three months back in a newspaper. I then started searching for people who could implement the project. My brother (P. Jha), who is posted in a primary health centre in Banka, told me about Vishwakarma. The company had executed a similar project in Banka. The work started on May 1 and is scheduled to be completed in another 10 days,” Jha added.