Rs.27,000 cr needed to rebuild Kerala: U.N. team report

Published : Oct 13, 2018 10:58 IST

An aerial view of the northern part of Kochi, with the flooded Vembanad lake submerging most human habitations, on August 17, 2018.

An aerial view of the northern part of Kochi, with the flooded Vembanad lake submerging most human habitations, on August 17, 2018.

A Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) exercise by a United Nations team has estimated that Rs.27,000 crore would be required in the next five years for rebuilding Kerala following the devastation caused by the recent floods.

The draft PDNA report presented to senior officials of State government departments on October 11 has suggested that Kerala should be rebuilt as the country’s first environment friendly green State, where the general public is well aware of the risks of living and undertaking activities in areas prone to natural disasters.

It is the first such PDNA report being prepared in India as per international norms. As part of the assessment for it, 72 experts visited 10 of the 14 districts of the State in the aftermath of the highest rainfall in nearly a century and floods and other calamities that followed (‘Battling a deluge’, Frontline, September 14, 2018).

The PDNA is a common “assessment and recovery planning approach” developed by the U.N. Development Group, the World Bank and the European Union as one of the key obligations of a 2008 agreement on dealing with such post-disaster situations.

Such evaluations carried out after earthquakes, cyclones, floods and droughts form the basis for governments and other agencies to formulate recovery plans and allocate required resources.

The PDNA exercise in Kerala was meant to evaluate the full extent of the impact of the floods and find out recovery needs and guide funding. Earlier, a preliminary “rapid disaster need assessment” by another team from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank had estimated the damage caused by the floods at Rs.25,046 crore. The Central government’s preliminary assessment, immediately after the floods, was only Rs.4,796 crore.

The U.N. team’s detailed evaluation has now found the State would need Rs.8,554 crore for rebuilding its roads, Rs.5,659 crore for its housing needs, Rs.4,499 crore for agriculture, livestock and fisheries, Rs.3,903 crore for rebuilding livelihoods, Rs.1,484 crore for irrigation, and Rs.1,331 crore for water and sanitation, the government said in a press statement.

The draft report has suggested several models for rebuilding the State. It has also made suggestions on how to fund the reconstruction process.

“The team has a lot of sectoral expertise and the data collected as part of the exercise will be very useful for the State, when it finally decides how to move forward. But we will need to take local realities into consideration when we finalise the report. It is a collaborative effort led by the government and supported by the U.N. and other agencies,” said Sekhar Kuriakose, Member Secretary, State Emergency Operations Centre.

The PDNA State coordinator Venkatesapathy told Frontline that the report is being considered by various State departments. The final report will be ready within about a week, incorporating their suggestions and changes. The State would have to make its own choices after considering the options provided in the draft report, he said.


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