Chandi Ghar braves the storm
Chandi Ghar braves the storm

In yet another vindication of Gul Bahao’s research program it was reported by Mohammad Ali Shah, Chairman of Fisher folk Forum that the Chandi Ghar put up by Gul Baho at Ibrahim Hyderi a couple of months ago has stood up to the devastating cyclone hitting the coast and is as good as it was first made. The accompanying photograph shows the Chandi Ghar put up on the roof of the Sachal Hall located in Ibrahim Hyderi.

While several of these pre-fabricated structures were sent to Mansehra at the time of the earthquake, the one at Ibrahim Hyderi is the first one to have been sold to any party in Karachi. This is not to say that the Chandi Ghar is totally new to Karachi, thousands if not lacs of people have seen or read about it through the media as well as live in exhibitions held at the following:

  1. SITE Stadium
  2. Twice at Expo Centre
  3. On the Super Highway
  4. Regent Plaza

as well as PCSIR exhibitions, as well as under the NIPA bridge in Gulshan-e-Iqbal. What is the Chandi Ghar? The brochure describing it says it is made up of used but clean plastic waste like shopping bags to form what is called Wastic Blocks, an alternative to concrete blocks. The second and more easily available component of the pre-fabricated structure is the Pana-flex Panel, again this uses used flexed material and cardboard. Depending on the workmanship this pre-fabricated house is strong against storms, water, insects, fire etc. It is insulated against extreme temperatures, it is easy to put up, taking only a few hours and easy to dismantle and extremely cost effective. The room shown in the photograph costs as little as rupees 15,000, above all it is extremely good looking so that this innovation may be equally attractive to both the rich and the poor

Recently Nargis Latif approached the director TDAP (formerly Export Promotion Bureau) Mr Nusrat Iqbal Jamshed and was able to convince him of the importance of the Chandi Ghar in the local industry. In her written proposal Nargis Latif spelled out the advantages of this new technology which gives it an edge over other building materials and can be used in the following

1) For relief work (earthquakes,tsunami and other natural disasters)

2) During Hajj, there is a huge potential for temporary houses

3) For military purposes, in war games or real life battles, temporary shelter for guards and police men

4) For mining companies/ oil drilling companies

5) For medical camps

6) Tourism industry on the coast as well as in the mountainous areas

7) For research work carried out over inhospitable terrain

8) For camps in big cities on Prime land to be used as election camp, mobile schools, advertising purposes etc

9) The blocks are modular so they can be used alternatively as beds, swimming pools or as water tanks

Being highly impressed by Nargis Latif’s presentation, Mr Jamshed asked her to have the Chandi Ghar patented as this would ensure that is became the intellectual property of Gul Bahao. To which Nargis replied that she would rather that the credit should go to the people of Karachi who have put in their labor, money and moral support. In fact she said that Gul Bahao has a number of other innovations to its credit which all lumped together are called Karachi’s Gift to The World

In the meantime, Gul Bahao has planned to gear up its work and start the world’s first Chandi Ghar Plant in Gulshan-e-Iqbal. It has at the same time appealed to the people to make the plant a success by giving interest free loans or funds.

Chandi Ghar braves the storm

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