Government agencies carried out a “post-disaster needs assessment” in Uttarakhand’s Joshimath region, which was a subsistence-hit area. The report recommended against giving financial aid to affected households if the buildings were illegally encroached upon or if they lacked a valid land-ownership document. The study also recommended prohibiting new development until after the upcoming monsoon in the whole Joshimath region.
“No financial assistance will be provided to the buildings illegally encroached and/or if the HH (household) does not have a valid land-ownership document. There should be a complete ban on new construction in the entire Joshimath area till the end of the coming monsoon. After post-monsoon reassessment of the ground conditions, some relaxation on new construction with prefab lightweight structures in comparatively safer areas may be thought of,” the report stated.
A 35-person team of experts from the National Disaster Management Authority, UN agencies, Central Building Research Institute, National Institute of Disaster Management, and other organisations conducted the evaluation from April 22 to April 25.
In an effort to achieve post-subsistence rehabilitation, the study stressed the need of accurate documentation and adherence to construction requirements. However, it provided considerable leeway for new building using prefab, light-weight structures in places that are generally safer.
According to the paper, the first and most important step would be to formally tell the residents of Joshimath about the parts of the city where no new buildings may be erected.
The authorities also placed a strong emphasis on creating a long-term strategy to make Joshimath a location that is secure and resilient for the ensuing 10 to 15 years.