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Biswas, A (2019) Exploring Indian post-disaster temporary housing strategy through a comparative review. International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, 10(01), 14–35.
- Type: Journal Article
- Keywords: Tsunami; Community participation; Shelter; Livelihood; Permanent housing; Temporary housing;
- ISBN/ISSN: 1759-5908
- URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJDRBE-09-2018-0037
Natural disasters not only cause dilapidated buildings and damaged infrastructure but also delay crucial aid for those affected in the event of a disaster and post-disaster recovery. An institutionally well-managed post-disaster housing strategy provides opportunities for physical and mental healing of its occupant. The time requires occupiers to remain in the temporary housing varies with circumstances. This paper aims to review post-disaster housing scenarios in India in comparison to two Asian cases from Indonesia and Japan. The study focuses on understanding Indian post-disaster housing strategies through a comparative review.
Design/methodology/approachThe research selects coastal cities of Tamil Nadu state, where the post-disaster temporary shelter and rehabilitation was planned and implemented after the Tsunami in 2004. The Tsunami created havoc in Nagapattinam and Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. Nagapattinam district reported 6,051 fatalities and many more homeless people. After the Tsunami, the government took measures to supply safe, secured and on-site shelter provisions. Surprisingly, many such shelters were never occupied. In many instances, people actually preferred to spend years in a temporary shelter rather occupying government housing. This paper evaluates such events and investigates India’s post-disaster shelter strategy against the derived best practices. This study is based on the sequential/logical reasoning and understanding of the facts. Discussions and findings from this study can be further generalised into a comprehensive policy discussion. FindingsThe paper finds that the manner of planning and design of post-disaster housing programmes influence medium- to long-term recovery of its occupant. A certain element of trade-off between implementation and quality of habitation results into compromises to achieving the desired outcome. When faced with socio-political, economic and financial constraints, the decision-makers are required to make trade-offs in deciding the manner and quantum of allocating resources. Coordination among these agencies is troublesome. It is true for all countries and there is no distinct answer to it. Public consultation and community participation in long-term rehabilitation are crucial to meet the aspiration of the local people. Originality/valueThe paper contributes in discussing a comparison of post-disaster housing rehabilitation between India and the two cases from Indonesia and Japan. As a review paper, the objective is to highlight the synthesis and overall understanding of post-disaster housing strategies from two cases and compare it with India.