Thiruvananthapuram corporation has launched a new project to construct houses for the poor by collecting the bricks left over from Attukal Pongala festivities.
Attukal Pongala, where lakhs of women light a fire using three bricks and firewood, cook a mixture of rice, coconut and jaggery as an offering to the temple Devi, is the biggest religious fest in Kerala.
Immediately after the Pongala gets over, the city would be full of waste and bricks. Usually the corporation cleans the waste within hours, but the bricks are kept aside and some are taken away by the people.
Thiruvananthapuram Mayor VK Prasanth told The News Minute that the corporation will start collecting the bricks from next year and will launch a new scheme to help the poor in building houses.
“Till now we were cleaning only the waste other than bricks. People also leave bricks on the roadside after Pongala, that would be taken away by somebody by next day. Next year onwards, we will collect them. We have plans for a better scheme to make them useful, by helping the poor in building houses,” he said.
Three bricks used to set up a Pongala fire, cost around Rs 100 and around four to five lakh bricks are abandoned in the city after the festival. Seven bricks are necessary to construct one square feet, that is around 6,000 bricks will be enough to build a small house. So, these lakhs of bricks which are abandoned can benefit many poor families who are struggling build a house.
“It is an innovative scheme also aimed at a clean city by reuse of resources,” the Mayor said.