Dehradun: President Pranab Mukherjee today inaugurated the annexe of the presidential retreat Ashiana here which has accommodation facilities for accompanying officers and staff of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Mukherjee, who was on a day-long visit here, was received by Uttarakhand Governor K K Paul and Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat at the airport.
After inaugurating the annexe, Mukherjee took a tour of the premises and was given an overview of the projects undertaken in the president's estate.
Former Uttarakhand chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal was also present at the event.
The Ashiana retreat was built originally as a bungalow of the commandant of the Presidents Bodyguard and was revived by Mukherjee after long years of disuse.
K R Narayanan, in March 1998, was the last president to stay here.
The restored and renovated main Ashiana building was inaugurated by the President on September 27 last year.
The Ashiana annexe has 12 low-cost dwelling units for officers and staff of the Rashtrapati Bhavan during presidential visits.
These have been constructed using the Habitech -- NivaraTantra technology solutions -- onsite sanitation integrated community housing innovations developed at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT).
The technology comprises blocks made from local soil which have cavities for horizontal and vertical reinforcement using steel bars which results in eliminating use of the conventional beams, columns and concrete lintel.
The cavities also enable natural air curtain against temperature, noise pollution and water penetration. The production of these blocks is on-site and a green process.
These dwelling units are disaster resilient, sustainable and cost effective. The scientific treatment of sanitation waste leads to mitigation of disease risk, ensuring health and well being of the community.
On the occasion, an MoU was also signed between Prashak Techno Enterprises and the Central Building Research Institute to collaborate for proliferation of the Habitech- NivaraTantra technology.
This was done with a focus on low cost and disaster resilient housing, particularly in rural areas, to enable vision of "Housing for All" with a special emphasis on housing for the economically weaker sections and low income group communities.