LONG-TERM CULTURAL IMPACTS OF DISASTER DECISION-MAKING: The Case of Post Earthquake Reconstruction in Marathwada, India

Rohit Jigyasu

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26687/archnet-ijar.v7i3.46

Abstract

Emergency situations are special since they present decision makers with a context that is characterized by extraordinary constraints on resources, need for urgency of actions and a critical psychosocial state that is markedly different than the normal situation. However, actions taken under these extraordinary situations can have a profound bearing on the longterm recovery of the community and its heritage. This paper considers the critical aspects of decision-making in emergency situations that need to be considered for sustainable longterm recovery of cultural heritage. It is difficult however to judge these essential considerations beforehand without evaluating the impacts of these decisions in hindsight. These considerations will be illustrated through case study of post-earthquake reconstruction in Marathwada in India by assessing the long-term impact of rehabilitation policies formulated in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. Patterns of adaptation and change in these areas demonstrate how small decisions taken during emergency can have wider socio-economic and physical implications. These cases will also show the importance of understanding the local context, especially with respect to local vulnerabilities as well as capacities, skills and resources while making decisions. These would also emphasize the necessity and ways of engaging various stakeholders, especially the local community, not as passive recipients but as important actors in the decision-making process. These considerations are significant for conservation professionals making decisions during emergencies, especially with regards to immediate protection, repairs and long-term recovery of cultural heritage, while we largely remain at the periphery of the reconstruction process.


Keywords

decision-making; heritage; culture; reconstruction; earthquake

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References

Jigyasu, R. (2001). ‘From natural to cultural disaster: consequences of the post-earthquake rehabilitation process on the cultural heritage in Marathwada region, India’, Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 34(3), pp. 237-242.

Jigyasu, R. (2002). Reducing Disaster Vulnerability through Local Knowledge and Capacity – The Case of Earthquakeprone Rural Communities in India and Nepal, Dr.ing thesis, Norwegian University of Science and Technology,

Trondheim.

Government of Mahrashtra (GoM) (1993). Proposal for Maharashtra Earthquake Rehabilitation Programme. Bombay: GoM

Nikolic-Brzev, S., Green, M., Krimgold, F. and Seeber, L. (1999). Lessons learned over time, Vol II. Oakland: Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.

Salazar, A. and Jigyasu, R. (2010). ‘A Decade of Lessons from Marathwada: Earthquake Vulnerabiility, Politics and Participatory Planning’ In: A. Revi, and S. Bhatt, S. eds. Recovering from Earthquakes: Response, Reconstruction and Impact Mitigation in India, New Delhi: Routledge.


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