Home / Politics / Policy /  TISS comes up with a rehab plan for Uttarakhand

New Delhi: The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has come up with a blueprint for reconstruction and rehabilitation of flood-ravaged Uttarakhand. It will now approach the government to put it in action before winter sets in the Himalayan region.

TISS has prepared a report related to the affected villages in Uttarakhand due to the recent floods in the state. “We have prepared a report for 96 villages in six districts which we will come out next week," said S. Parasuraman, director of TISS, in Mumbai.

Parasuraman said that the report has specific recommendations for various agencies and the government to adopt villages for rehabilitation in the area before winter approaches.

“We have done an analysis of the situation and a GIS (global information system) mapping for Uttarakhand for the last 12 years to see how things have changed. We will now work with the government to see how the harm of these changes can be minimized," he said at the release of a report on Indian disasters on Saturday.

The report by Oxford University Press says that changes in development patterns, technology interface, infrastructure, and environmental features, due to natural and human-made factors, make the case for resilience necessary in the country.

The report titled ‘India Disasters Report II: Redefining Disasters’ is the second in a series after the first was released in 2000.

The report recommends that community training and disaster drills should be used to strengthen the response of the local people to disasters. It also says that implementing building codes and fire safety norms is important to make schools, hospitals and homes safer.

Parasuraman, who is one of the editors of the report, said that the central recommendation of the report is to understand the changed complexity of disasters in the country and let government and other agencies decide how to deal with them.

He added that the main challenge during the Uttarakhand disaster, in which around 10,000 people lost their lives, was to communicate the warning to travellers.

“There were people from everywhere in the country, so the problem is in what language do you give the information and warning," he said.

He added that the use of mobile phones for warnings is definitely a possibility but language becomes a barrier in that case too.

Parasuraman also said that the line between natural and man-made disasters is blurring.

“When socio-economic development is happening in the country at a fast pace, there is no authority to deal with all aspects in a holistic manner. While ecosystems and environment has changed, our way of looking at disasters hasn’t," he said.

He said that the National Disaster Management Authority doesn’t have the capacity to deal with all issues in a complete manner and at this time, co-operation between state and central government becomes crucial.

Unni Krishnan, head of disaster response at Plan International in London and the second editor of the report, said that disasters cannot be seen merely as an act of nature or god when many more factors are at play.

“It is a combination of various factors, including development activities. We need to build a culture of zero tolerance towards safety and disaster management issues," he said.

Unni Krishnan also said that the third report in the series should be out in the next 13 months and will focus on an in-depth analysis of major disasters.

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