India will soon have a disaster recovery framework to help authorities plan restoration of pre-disaster living conditions of the affected population, which include involvement of private sector and securing cultural heritage.
At present, the country does not have a proper recovery policy though it has a holistic and integrated approach to disaster management. It is also perceived among authorities that recovery has not received adequate attention at the level of policy, processes, financial allocation and programmes.
The Union Home Ministry has now come up with a draft India Disaster Recovery Framework (IDRF) in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It has sought comments from academicians, experts and public on the issue.
According to the framework, recovery is defined as decisions and actions taken after a disaster with a view to restore or improve pre-disaster living conditions of the affected community, while encouraging and facilitating necessary adjustments to reduce disaster risk. It is an important component of risk reduction strategy and if implemented systematically, the recovery process prevents the affected community from sliding into further poverty and deprivation, it said.
The IDRF prescribes three distinct phases — early, medium term and long-term — based on which recovery policies and programmes could be planned. The early recovery, which could span between 3-18 months include activities such as cash-for-work, resumption of markets, restoration of social services.
The medium-term runs up to five years concurrent with the early phase and include recovery plans for assets and livelihoods and reconstruction plans for housing, infrastructure and even cultural monuments. The long-term recovery phase (5-10 years) should be implemented along with developmental plans and include strengthening urban and regional planning.