To combat with the huge housing shortage in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated a program called Pradhan MantriAwasYojana, 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.
Naya Raipur, the Capital city of Chhattisgarh, is the first green-field city and one of the most well-planned smart cities in India. The government has to construct 40,000 housing units for EWS (Economically Weaker Section) and LIG (low income group) segments with precast technology. The first tender has been awarded to BSBK Group for 6300 housing units.
The project time frame is 36 months, and it is on turn-key basis. The contractor awarded the winning tender needs to design the building, the infrastructure and complete the project as a whole.
“The best technology is the precast technology,” Mr. V.R. Chetty, Vice president, BSBK Group, comments. “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 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 & bridges, etc. all over India.
Convincing needed at the early stage
To win this current affordable housing project was not particularly easy. Even though the precast technology has gradually gained acceptance in India in recent years, either people in BSBK nor the authorities knew much about precast. 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, and helping to convince Chhattisgarh Housing Board that precast is an economical, fast and safe method for building.
A long process of selecting the right plant and equipment for this precast project was right underway. 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 for this type of work is been made. Help also came from manufacturer’s technical team to get the understanding of overall functionality and production in precast technology.
In addition to all these investigation, more factors were taken into consideration before placing the order, Chetty says.
“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.”
Once everything was checked, 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 they have a proper technical support team.”Mr. V.R. Chetty adds.
Big plans ahead
The cooperation 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 and 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 NRDA’s team with the concept design. With such a tight time frame, the precast plant in Naya Raipur were installed in record time; usually it takes minimum 6-7 months to install and commission a precast plant. In 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.
“Now after purchasing it, we are satisfied with the performance of all the machines,” says Mr. 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.”
The plant at Naya Raipur is the biggest plant of BSBK Group, which consist of Elematic SEMI hollow-core slab line with 5 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. In India, there is a shortage of 24 million houses and Central Govt. and states govts have already given green signal to construct with precast technology. BSBK has big plan 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,” Mr. V.R. Chetty reveals.