The private Sahara business group announced on Saturday that it would build 725,000 of the hardy structures this year.

The company said that it would begin construction in the earthquake-prone Indian cities of Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bhavnagar, Jaipur, Jabalpur, Jaipur and Jhansi on November 24.

"The consumers will be able to choose from among eight types of earthquake-resistant international duplex houses," a company statement said.

Sahara, which has interests in media, aviation and real estate, declined to reveal the cost of the housing project.

More than 20,000 people were killed in India's western state of Gujarat in an earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale on January 26, 2001.

Sahara has not revealed the building technologies it will include in the structures to make them withstand earthquake. There is also no mention of the severity of the quake the buildings will be able to cope with.