To combat the huge housing shortage in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated a program called Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, or PMAY. It is an affordable housing scheme under which the central government aims to provide housing for all, particularly for the poor, by the year 2022.
The Capital city of Chhattisgarh Naya Raipur, is one of the places where the government has decided to construct 40,000 housing units for economically weaker and lower income segments with precast technology, thanks to the city’s credentials as a smart city.
The first tender has been awarded to BSBK Group for 6,300 housing units. The project time frame is 36 months, and it is on a turn-key basis. The contractor awarded the winning tender needs to design the building, infrastructure and complete the project as a whole.
For BSBK, precast was the only choice for the project.
“The best technology is precast technology,” V.R. Chetty, Vice president, BSBK Group, said.
“You have to construct so many houses within such a short time period, so there will be a huge requirement of labor which is not possible. Secondly, there’s issue with quality: compared to conventional systems, the quality of precast technology is much better.”
BSBK limited is one of the leading construction companies in india, with long history dating back to 1919. The company has executed projects for civil and structural steel engineering, technological structures, cross country pipelines, pump houses, cooling towers, industrial and public buildings, hospitals and town ships, roads and bridges all over india.
Convincing needed at an early stage
Winning the housing project was not particularly easy. Even though the precast technology has gradually gained acceptance in India in recent years, BSBK nor the authorities knew much about the technology itself. This is where Elematic, a world-leading precast concrete production supplier, stepped into the picture providing support to BSBK at the initial stage, with several presentations to ministers and housing board’s engineers. Elematic helped to convince Chhattisgarh Housing Board that precast is an economical, fast and safe method for building construction.
To obtain the right and comprehensive information about the precast technology, BSBK attended seminars and international exhibitions in China, Mumbai, Bangalore, and went to actual sites to see and understand what type of machines are best for this kind of construction project. Help also came from the manufacturer’s technical team to understand the overall functionality and production in precast technology.
“We compared everything, not only price, but quality, power and supply schedule, backup facility, service facility, availability of spare parts and so on. If the type of plant and equipment of the ones the manufacturer suggested were suitable for India’s climate? Is the power consumption for that equipment economical? Is the plant easy to operate? And can the plant and equipment be delivered in the required schedule? The equipment had to be setup as fast as possible,” said Chetty.
BSBK chose Elematic as their partner.
“In the field of precast technology and equipment, Elematic is pioneer. The machines and service are very good. It is also a very important factor that Elematic has a proper technical support team,” Chetty added.
Big plans ahead
The co-operation does not end at the point of signing sales contract, but it marks a new beginning. Elematic provides end-to-end solutions to precast manufacturers from initial consultation, machinery supply, structural design of buildings, and training for production to the final installation of precast elements.
JKMM Architects, a renowned company from Finland, were sent to study local geographical conditions in India, draw precast-friendly layouts for construction, and facilitate BSBK’s design team with the building design.
With such a tight time frame, the precast plant in Naya Raipur was installed in record time; usually it takes minimum 6-7 months to install and commission a precast plant. In the BSBK project, the moulds were supplied from Elematic India and core machinery was imported from Finland. Manufacturing of moulds and machinery in India and Finland started in March 2016 and the plant was completed in August 2016.
“After purchasing it, we are satisfied with the performance of all the machines,” said Rohit Singh, Vice president, plant and machinery, BSBK Group.
“Now it’s normalized. Initially, we had some problems, but everything is being streamlined and working very well. A machine we used in our previous project was locally made, an extruder machine, which was problematic. Those problems are not coming up with the new Elematic machinery,” he added.
The plant at Naya Raipur is the biggest plant for BSBK Group, which consist of Elematic SEMI hollow-core slab line with 4 HCS beds, 15 mechanical tables, SEMI wall line with 20 KVT tables, staircase, and casting skips. The total concrete volume is around 150 M3 produced every day.
The future of precast project in India is tremendous. Around 24 million houses are planned to be built with precast technology.
BSBK has big plans ahead as well.
“We would like to set up more advanced plant for precast technology, and to provide more jobs, so that we can expand the precast technology in a proper way and gradually enter the private sector as well,” V.R. Chetty revealed.