• 2682, Sector 40/C, Chandigarh
  • +91 9814610007
  • 2682, Sector 40/C, Chandigarh
  • +91 9814610007

Successful Stories

Gujarat Earthquake

On board in AN 32 Indian Army Force Aircraft, I flew from Technical Airport to Gujarat Air Base where I met Mr A P J Abdul Kalam, Former President of India. The airport was damaged in the 2001 Gujarat earthquake and was renovated at a cost of ₹400 million. The renovated terminal was dedicated in 2003 by then Deputy Prime Minister of India, Lal Krishna Advani.

The original ATC tower was destroyed in the earthquake and an ad hoc terminal was set up for rescue operations. It was manned by three officers of the Indian Air Force and handled as many as 800 takeoffs and landings in a four-day window. The runway itself was damaged but was repaired within hours to allow flights to land by the afternoon of 26 January itself. Equipment was flown in from places like Chandigarh and the injured were flown out to places like Pune. From the time the earthquake struck on 26 January until 5 February, Bhuj airport handled 944 takeoffs and landings, which exceeded the traffic at the Mumbai and Delhi airports combined. The Air Force flew helicopters into Bhuj and Jamnagar for evacuation as well as set up medical camps. Freight planes carrying mobile hospitals, generators, tents, and water purifiers from the United States, and blankets from Pakistan, were also flown in.

Gujarat Earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Programme (GERRP)

After the earthquake disaster in Gujarat esp. in Bhuj the whole area was completely dev astated to the extent that no small solutions or sops could possibly bring any change. The situation required a sustainable program but also programs which could be immediately implementable within the framework of multidimensional demands of relief and rehabilitation. There was not only loss of property , livelihood and homes but there was also loss of human lives which devastated people emotionally and weakened their capacity to participate in reconstruction of their terrain. In order to bring a change in this vastly morose and ominous picture of society the government of Gujarat started the programme for reconstruction and rehabilitation in the affected areas of Gujarat in 2001 through the Gujarat Disaster Management Authority.

A contradictory report by Red Cross International, however, stated that power and telecommunications were unavailable and that the airport was shut.

The way this programme took off with the required rigor, responsibility and responsiveness from the government agencies working in partnership with local voluntary associations suggests that this could be treated as a best practice for emulation and replication. Starting in 2001 this initiative includes a wide range of sectors for restoring normalcy in the lives of the people hit by the earthquake. The sectors included by the programme are housing, physical infrastructure, social infrastructure i.e. education and health, urban reconstruction, livelihood restoration, social rehabilitation, community participation and long term disaster management.


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