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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2019

Piyoosh Rautela, Girish Chandra Joshi and Shailesh Ghildiyal

The purpose of this study is to estimate the cost of seismic resilience of identified vulnerable lifeline public buildings in earthquake-prone Himalayan province of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to estimate the cost of seismic resilience of identified vulnerable lifeline public buildings in earthquake-prone Himalayan province of Uttarakhand in India.

Design/methodology/approach

Built area of the identified vulnerable lifeline buildings together with prevalent rate of construction has been considered for assessing the cost of seismic resilience while improvised rapid visual screening (RVS) technique, better suited to the built environment in the region, has been used for assessing seismic vulnerability.

Findings

Investment of US$250.08m is assessed as being required for ensuring seismic safety of 56.3, 62.1, 52.9, 64.6, 71.9 and 61.7% surveyed buildings, respectively, of fire and emergency services, police, health, education, local administration and other departments that are to become non-functional after an earthquake and result in a major socio-political turmoil. A total amount of US$467.71m is estimated as being required for making all the buildings of these departments seismically resilient.

Research limitations/implications

Actual investment estimates and reconstruction/retrofitting plans have to be prepared after detailed investigations as RVS technique only provides a preliminary estimate and helps in prioritising buildings for detailed investigations.

Practical implications

This study is intended to provide a snapshot of the state of seismic vulnerability together with the financial resources required for corrective measures. This is to help the authorities in planning phased mobilisation of financial and technical resources for making the built environment seismically resilient.

Social implications

This study is to bring forth awareness on this important issue and consequent public opinion in favour of safety of public facilities to ensure allocation of appropriate financial resources together with changes in techno-legal regime for the cause of earthquake safety. At the same time, this study is to motivate masses to voluntarily assess safety of their neighbourhood and undertake corrective measures.

Originality/value

This study is based on primary data collected by the authors.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 10 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

Piyoosh Rautela

Survival strategy of the masses has led to the evolution of area‐specific, locally pertinent and effective ways of mitigating natural disasters. This vital knowledge base…

1503

Abstract

Purpose

Survival strategy of the masses has led to the evolution of area‐specific, locally pertinent and effective ways of mitigating natural disasters. This vital knowledge base is, however, often ignored and is being fast eroded. The paper aims at highlighting the relevance of these practices that put forth most cost‐effective and acceptable means of mitigating disasters.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on the extensive field studies and in‐depth probe of the traditional resource management practices of the people of the remote Himalayan terrain by the author and it reflects his belief in the acumen of the masses.

Findings

The paper discusses the relevance of the various disaster management practices of the region. During the course of their habitation in the disaster‐prone Himalayan terrain the indigenous people through experience, experimentation and accumulated knowledge devised ways of reducing their vulnerability to natural hazards. Studies show that their understanding was fairly evolved in the areas of earthquake, landslide and drought management and had devised efficient ways of mitigating the effects of these.

Research limitations/implications

The paper reflects the author's individual understanding and interpretation of the practices based on his interactions with the masses.

Practical implications

Improvisation on the traditional practices of disaster management has a major role to play in putting forth cost‐effective and sustainable means of shielding the community against the impact of natural disasters. This article puts forth an alternative approach of interpreting the traditional practices of the masses and would lead to appropriate innovations for better disaster management in the region.

Originality/value

This paper represents a useful attempt to reinforce the importance of local knowledge in mitigating natural disasters, which is often ignored and is quick to erode.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 June 2007

Piyoosh Rautela and Swarn Shikher Pant

The purpose of this paper is to attempt to put forth an innovative geographic information system (GIS)‐based methodology for demarcating stretches of mountain roads with…

1711

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to attempt to put forth an innovative geographic information system (GIS)‐based methodology for demarcating stretches of mountain roads with differential probability of road accidents. The proposed methodology has been tested in a sample road network of Uttarkashi district in Uttaranchal (India) and exhibits potential of reducing the frequency of road accidents by adopting suitable site‐specific measures along accident‐prone stretches.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on the hypothesis that road accidents in the mountain roads are largely due to the three basic road parameters that distinguish mountain roads from those in the plains; sinuosity, gradient, and width. The sinuosity of the road is calculated for every 500 meter stretch of the road map layer while for delineating the gradient of the road topographic data of Survey of India maps have been used. The paper utilises GIS‐based environment for correlating these parameters and delineating accident‐prone road stretches.

Findings

The proposed new methodology for delineating differential accident risk in mountain roads has been utilised for demarcating road stretches with differential probability of road accidents and the output has been correlated with the actual road accident database of Uttarkashi district in Uttaranchal. The correlation exhibits the potential of this methodology for practical mitigative planning‐related purposes. The same can also be utilised for better aligning the planned roads.

Research limitations/implications

Human factor is the most important determinant of road accidents and non‐incorporation of this parameter is the biggest limitation of the proposed methodology. Further, the effectiveness of the proposed methodology is the function of the validity of the hypothesis. The methodology is, however, highly flexible and has ample scope for accommodating other parameters as well. The effectiveness of the output is, however, a function of the accuracy of the input maps. Road layer considered in this paper has been prepared from the maps available with the State Government Department (Public Works Department) and their alignment does not depict the ground details. Input road layer prepared with precision Geographical Positioning System (GPS), preferably differential, mapping would produce more realistic results. The positions of the past accident sites for the purpose of correlations are taken from the data provided by the State Police Department and these are not very accurately determined. GPS‐based database of the accident locations would help in effective correlations.

Practical implications

The methodology proposed in this paper is an attempt to scientifically delineate differential accident‐prone stretches of the mountain roads. This would pave the way for implementation of site‐specific measures for reducing probability of road accidents and better aligning of the proposed roads.

Originality/value

Previously a large number of workers have used GIS‐based techniques for delineating hazard and risk related largely to landslides, floods and earthquakes but the same has never been employed for delineating road accident risk. The methodology is simple, unique, original and functional and has immense practical utility for reducing the menace of road accidents in mountain roads.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2006

Piyoosh Rautela

The paper seeks to makes a correlation between poverty; and disaster‐induced losses and to clearly put forth a hypothesis for deepening poverty in India; the disaster …

2879

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to makes a correlation between poverty; and disaster‐induced losses and to clearly put forth a hypothesis for deepening poverty in India; the disaster – poverty cycle, and to suggest that India would perpetually remain a developing nation unless attempts are made to reduce the burden of disasters on the public exchequer. A practical strategy is put forth for disrupting the disaster – poverty cycle through appropriate risk management measures. This is envisaged to better compensate the disaster victims besides significantly reducing the burden upon public exchequer. The paper thus aims at contributing to economic growth and development of India.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the review of the practices in other nations as also in India a strategy is proposed for disrupting the disaster – poverty cycle so as to accelerate economic growth and development of the nation.

Findings

Experience the world over suggests that risk management is the key for reducing the burden on the public exchequer as also for minimising the misery and trauma of the masses exposed to disasters. Risk management has been split into two parts; risk reduction and risk transfer. The former aims at reducing the misery of the masses apart from lessening the burden of post‐disaster reconstruction while the latter aims at significantly reducing the burden on the public exchequer as also the trauma of the disaster victims by way of introducing compulsory insurance cover for all residential units.

Research limitations/implications

The paper attempts to put forth a blue print of a strategy for disrupting the disaster – poverty cycle. Open debate on this important issue is intended to be initiated so as to improvise the strategy in view of the ground realities and past experiences so as to evolve a practically applicable strategy. Together with this the financial implications and practical constrains in implementation have to be probed in detail before putting the same into actual practice.

Practical implications

Besides highlighting the need for reducing the burden of disasters on the public exchequer the paper highlights the shortcomings in the relief package at present being offered by the state to the disaster victims in India. The state should come forward with instruments that better compensate for the individual losses of the disaster victims. Public opinion would at the same time force the state to devise ways of minimising the burden of disasters on the public exchequer and the ensuing enactments would pave way for vibrant economic growth and development of India. This debate would also lead to refinement of the strategy proposed in this paper so as to make it practically applicable and acceptable.

Originality/value

Based on experience in the field of disaster management the paper has innovatively put forth a sound correlation between increasing frequency and toll of disasters and the deepening poverty of India. This economic correlation (disaster – poverty cycle) is sure to invoke the interest of the various stakeholders on this important issue. The paper thus reflects the author's understanding of the issues related to disaster management.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2005

Piyoosh Rautela and R.K. Pande

The paper aims to discuss the causes of the landslide event at Amparav in Kumaun Himalaya (Nainital district of Uttaranchal in India) and attempts to bring forth the…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to discuss the causes of the landslide event at Amparav in Kumaun Himalaya (Nainital district of Uttaranchal in India) and attempts to bring forth the importance of mass awareness regarding the past disaster events in their surroundings.

Design/methodology/approach

On the aftermath of the landslide tragedy of 23 September, 2004 field investigations were carried out to probe the causes and lapses that resulted in tragedy at a place where a detailed mitigation plan had been implemented.

Findings

The investigations reveal that a detailed landslide management strategy was prepared and implemented to protect this zone almost a century ago, with a thorough understanding of the mass wastage processes. Implementation of this plan safeguarded this zone for a long time, but the lack of awareness among the masses led to the violation of the very spirit of this plan. This culminated in the Amparav tragedy that took three human lives, besides the loss of a huge public and private infrastructure.

Research limitations/implications

The old study that led to the landslide management strategy could not be assessed and the article is based on information provided by the village elders.

Practical implications

The paper is an attempt to bring forth the finer details of the landslide management plan enacted in the region almost a century ago. It suggests the need for detailed surveys and planning in enacting any disaster management plan.

Originality/value

This paper would bring forth the importance of documenting the disaster management strategies of the region and sharing the significance of these with the masses so that they are deterred from even unintentionally violating the spirit of these plans.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Piyoosh Rautela and R.K. Pande

Climatic conditions as also the agrarian economy of the Indian subcontinent is greatly affected by the monsoonal winds that are characterized by heavy rains between June…

Abstract

Purpose

Climatic conditions as also the agrarian economy of the Indian subcontinent is greatly affected by the monsoonal winds that are characterized by heavy rains between June and September. The paper is an attempt to break the myth that landslides are only confined to monsoonal months that normally have concentrated rains and can be expected in other seasons as well and, therefore, disaster alert levels cannot be relaxed during non‐monsoonal season. The communication also attempts to identify slowly ongoing weathering processes that might cause to slope failure without rains and, therefore, paves way for identifying similar landslide prone areas.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses two landslides of the recent past; Uttarkashi landslide of 23 September 2003 and Ramolsari landslide of 30 March 2005 that took place after the seizure of the monsoonal rains and is based upon the first hand field observations of the authors. The paper discusses the likely causes of the slides along with the implications of this new trend of landslides taking place in the non‐monsoonal season upon the disaster management strategy of the state.

Findings

The investigations reveal that precipitation could be considered the trigger in case of Uttarkashi landslide but there exist no evidences to suggest that the Ramolsari landslide could have been triggered by increased pore water pressure. Slow ongoing and hard to observe processes of weathering seem to have initiated this slide.

Research limitations/implications

For the purpose of metrological parameters, the study relies upon the data of the state run rain gauges that do not have an appreciably good spatial distribution. Rainfall data of the nearest observation points is, therefore, taken as representative of the rainfall in the area under present focus. For Ramolsari, the rainfall data of Tehri is used while Uttarkashi has a rainfall recording observatory.

Originality/value

The paper highlights the importance of keeping the preparedness levels high for prompt post‐disaster operations all through the year. This paper advocates redefining high alert period for landslide hazard and for following high alert all through the year particularly in areas prone to landslides.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 June 2009

Piyoosh Rautela and Girish Chandra Joshi

Despite being located in earthquake sensitive region and often experiencing seismic tremors the State of Uttarakhand in the Indian Himalayas exhibits an elaborate…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite being located in earthquake sensitive region and often experiencing seismic tremors the State of Uttarakhand in the Indian Himalayas exhibits an elaborate tradition of constructing multistoreyed houses. Both the local dialects of the State (Kumaoni and Garhwali) have unique words for identifying four different floors of a building. This is suggestive of a common occurrence of multistoreyed structures in the region. This paper attempts to establish that the people inhabiting this rugged earthquake prone terrain have evolved the art of constructing earthquake safe structures well before the evolution of the structural engineering principles governing such a construction.

Design/methodology/approach

Detailed investigations were undertaken in the area to establish the antiquity of the traditional structures, as were also earthquake safety provisions incorporated traditionally in these. Radiocarbon dating of the wood used in the structures was used to establish the time of the construction of these structures.

Findings

Investigations suggest that the region has evolved a distinct, elaborate and magnificent earthquake‐safe construction style. This construction style, designated Koti Banal architecture, attained its zenith around 880 years ago. This architectural style exhibits the existence of elaborate procedures for site selection, preparing the platform for raising the multistoreyed structure, also for the detail of the entire structure that was constructed on principles somewhat akin to that of framed structures of modern times.

Research limitations/implications

The representative structures of this architecture are observed to be deteriorating fast due to lack of patronage, resources and awareness. This article brings forth awareness regarding the heritage value of these structures, enabling organized efforts for the conservation and upkeep of these structures.

Originality/value

This article is the result of original research undertaken by the authors and paves the way for the conservation of the age old traditional structures.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Piyoosh Rautela

The cumulative impact of accidents not considered as disasters far surpasses the impact of disasters. Accidents taking toll of human lives and economy are often…

2431

Abstract

Purpose

The cumulative impact of accidents not considered as disasters far surpasses the impact of disasters. Accidents taking toll of human lives and economy are often underreported and go unnoticed and the victims of these incidences are also ill compensated. It is therefore necessary to pay adequate attention to accidents and formulate appropriate policies for giving equal treatment to the victims of these events and also to make efforts for mitigating these. This paper aims to discuss this.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses the impact of accidents and attempts to assert that these are a cause of major concern. The database of the disasters (EM‐DAT) of Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), Belgium has been utilised for ascertaining the toll of disasters, while for assessing the cumulative toll of the accidents and disasters database available at departmental web sites (Department of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, Government of India (www.morth.nic.in) and Railway Ministry, Government of India (www.indianrailways.gov.in) together with some other web sites have been used. The two databases have been correlated to establish that the cumulative toll is far more than what is generally perceived to be the toll of the disasters.

Findings

Based on the correlation of one event each under the category of natural and man made disasters (landslides, transport accidents) it is concluded that these correlations establish that the toll of accidents is many times more than the disaster events and there exists a pressing need to pay adequate attention towards managing accidents that take heavy toll of the global resources.

Research limitations/implications

At present there exists no formal and comprehensive database recording the toll of accidents and the study is based on the database compiled from different sources. The paper establishes beyond doubt that the magnitude of the toll of accidents is far more than that of disasters and there exists pressing need for managing accidents.

Practical implications

This paper would bring forth the importance of managing accidents before the policy makers and initiate advocacy for putting in more resources for managing these events. In the long run the victims would not be differentiated on the basis of the magnitude of the incidents they have faced.

Originality/value

The paper shows the importance of managing major accidents and provides guidance for appropriate changes to be made.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 15 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2005

Aniruddha Uniyal and Piyoosh Rautela

Many villages in the vicinity of the hill township of Mussorie in the Indian Himalayas are witnessing signs of an impending disaster. These villages are witnessing active…

1011

Abstract

Purpose

Many villages in the vicinity of the hill township of Mussorie in the Indian Himalayas are witnessing signs of an impending disaster. These villages are witnessing active wastage that might take an heavy toll of human interest during the monsoon season and therefore the paper proposes examining this subject.

Design/methodology/approach

A detailed study was undertaken in the area of Mussorie.

Findings

It is suggested that a series of prevention and mitigation measures (both structural and non‐structural) with the involvement of the local community are required for ruling out the possibility of any mishap in the area.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the importance of having a disaster management strategies for the region and involving the community with these.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2005

Piyoosh Rautela

It is observed that the slow onslaught disasters do not normally catch media attention as these often do not result in human casualties. Inadequate media attention results…

Abstract

Purpose

It is observed that the slow onslaught disasters do not normally catch media attention as these often do not result in human casualties. Inadequate media attention results in insufficient rehabilitation support for the victims. The paper aims at highlighting the problem of ground subsidence in the Himalayan terrain together with the hardships of the victims.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on the detailed field investigations carried out by the author in the remote Himalayan habitations of Garbyang in Dharchula block of Pithoragarh, Talla Dhumar and Umli‐Bhandarigaon in Munsyari block of Pithoragarh and Bagi in Uttarkashi district in the state of Uttaranchal in India. All these habitations are being affected by ground subsidence and the inhabitants of these villages are facing severe resource crisis.

Findings

Garbyang village in Central Himalaya is observed to be situated over the varve deposits laid down in the proglacial lake abutting against Chialekh ridge and is witnessing the problem of ground subsidence resulting in the destruction of the once thriving and prosperous habitation. The studies relate the subsidence at Garbyang with the seismicity in the region as also the subsequent toe erosion and downslope mass movement. The other sites discussed in the paper are witnessing the problem of ground subsidence due to the active toe erosion by rivers and streams.

Research limitations/implications

There exist no records of the exact date of initiation of the ground subsidence in the investigated areas and these are grossly based on the information provided by the village elders.

Originality/value

The article would help in making the disaster managers responsive to the problems the masses are facing due to ground subsidence in this fragile zone and this would result in mustering resources for reducing the hardships of the masses.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

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