[Yojana October Summary] Light House Projects – Explained, pointwise

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On 1 January 2021, the Prime Minister laid the foundation of six Light House Projects (LHPs) in six cities across six states; Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Rajkot (Gujarat), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Agartala (Tripura) and Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh). The projects are being constructed under Global Housing Technology ChallengeIndia (GHTC-India), which is in turn under the “Housing for All” programme.

About PMAY-Urban and the need for a new approach

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U) was launched in June 2015 with the aim to provide all-weather pucca affordable houses to all eligible urban households by the year 2022. So far, 11.2 million houses have been sanctioned under the scheme.

The scheme has propelled massive investment opportunities and provided the much-needed impetus to industrial production and employment.

But, the conventional system of housing construction is inadequate to comprehensively address the housing shortage in a time-bound manner. Further, India needs to address issues of climate change by reducing the carbon footprints, impact of thermal comfort systems, construction and demolition waste etc.

Read more: Only 5.4% of houses under “PM Awas Yojana Gramin (PMAY-G)” completed this year
Light House Project
Source: Yojana

Global Housing Technology Challenge-India (GHTC India) was initiated in January 2019.

Through GHTC, 54 innovative technologies from across the world were shortlisted and grouped into six broad streams or categories as per their suitability for different geo-climatic regions of the country.

Out of these, six distinct technologies were taken up for the construction of innovative projects in six states across the country. About 1,000 houses at each location are to be constructed in a year.

Read more: Net Zero Emissions Target for India – Explained, Pointwise
What are the Light House Projects and their associated benefits?

These are model housing projects with houses built with shortlisted alternate technology suitable to the geo-climatic and hazard conditions of the region. These houses will be disaster-resilient, environment-friendly, cost-effective, and have speedy construction technologies.

Light House Projects
Source: Yojana

These are called Light Houses as these projects have a demonstrative effect wherein people from all sectors such as Academia, builders/developers, innovators, policymakers, etc will be able to see and learn the use of innovative technologies on the ground.

These projects will serve as live laboratories for on-site and off-site learning, facilitating the transfer of technology to the field, and its further replication.

How government is promoting LHPs and other innovative technologies in the housing sector?

Certification of technologies: Out of the 54 innovative technologies identified under GHTC-India, 39 have been evaluated and certified under the Performance Appraisal Certification Scheme (PACS) through Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC).

Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has issued a Schedule of Rates (SOR) for some of these technologies. This will result in widespread adaptation of technologies in public construction works.

Technology Innovation Grant (TIG) to states: Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has introduced a Technology Innovation Grant (TIG). TIG is a financial grant provided to the States which is in addition to the existing funding under PMAY(U).

Adoption through education: MoHUA is coordinating with the Ministry of Education to adopt innovative technologies as a part of the course curriculum for Undergraduate/Post Graduate students.

Technograhis: On the line of Satyagrahis and Swachhagrahis, a program Technograhis was launched in February 2021 for free enrolment of all stakeholders interested in learning different phases of use of innovative technologies in LHPs.

Technograhis will be the change agents of innovative and sustainable technologies. They will get first-hand information about the technologies through site visits, off-site webinars/workshops etc.; and they can adapt them as per their requirements in the construction sector for a ‘Make in India’ approach in future.

NAVARITIH: The technological adaption for LHPs will get framed under a short-term online certificate course, Navaritih. The course is intended to enhance the capability of the building professionals about the new and emerging building materials and technologies for housing and building construction.

Training modules: The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship is also preparing training modules on new technologies for artisans/masons/ electricians/plumbers/carpenters, etc.

In conclusion, the LHPs and other innovative technologies in housing will contribute towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the New Urban Agenda, and the Paris Climate Accord. Further, the beneficiaries (house owners) will have access to improved living conditions and the environment in a modern and dignified way.

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