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Gurgaon building jacked up 11 feet

When the Daima family built its house 12 years ago, it was perfectly level with the road. Due to repeated relaying and re-carpeting, the road level started rising by 5-6 feet. They had to raise their house. All that the Daimas had to do was to jack it up, reports Sanjeev K Ahuja.

delhi Updated: Oct 05, 2008 18:00 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja

When the Daima family built its house 12 years ago, it was perfectly level with the road.

Then, due to repeated relaying and re-carpeting, the road level started rising. And with every inch’s increase, it slowed down storm water discharge.

Eventually, the situation became so bad that the ground floor of the house would become awash with water after every downpour.

“The road surface had risen by 5-6 feet over the years,” says Satanpal Daima, owner of the five-bedroom house in Ghatta village. The village lies on the Faridabad road, around 15km from Gurgaon.

The Daimas had two options: abandon the house or demolish it and build another in its place. Neither was within their means. Satanpal’s house was lifted using 275 jacks at Ghatta village in Gurgaon.

“We could not afford to build another house as we had already spent a lot on this one,” says Satanpal’s son Shekhar.

Just when the family was it its wit’s end, a solution appeared from an unexpected quarter.

Novel method

All that the Daimas had to do was — raise their house. Lift it. Jack it up. Simple.

It might sound unbelievable, and even the Daimas did not take the idea seriously, initially.

But Maam Chand, the man who came up with the proposal had a track record of performing such ‘feats’. More importantly, “Maam Chand told us that it would cost us 20-30 per cent of the cost of rebuilding the house to raise it by 10-11 feet,” says Shekhar.

The Daimas agreed. And in 40 days, Maam Chand and his family have done what they promised.The entire exercise took 40 days

As the accompanying pictures show, the two-storey house has been raised almost 11 feet using — guess what — 275 truck jacks! And, its roof, walls and floors have not developed any cracks in the process.

Self-taught master

Maam Chand is no engineer. In fact, he dropped out of school after Class IV. And none of his four sons have studied beyond Class X.

Yet, this family from Yamuna Nagar has raised hundreds of houses using their technique since 1991.

But, despite their experience, raising the Daimas’ house was a big challenge for them.

“This is biggest house we have lifted, and by 11 feet at that,” says Maam Chand’s son Rajesh. Earlier, they had raised houses by 5-7 feet only.

Another difference this time was that they lifted the house from its foundation, instead of raising the roof.