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·         to bring key groups together to focus on the main concerns and priorities for the rehabilitation of the families affected by floods across Maharashtra

·         to integrate the experiences and expectations of both urban and rural affected areas

·         to specify recommendations for rehabilitation efforts through the government


The chief purpose of the meeting is to develop a note that can serve as an input or draft for an effective and comprehensive Rehabilitation Policy that can be adopted by the Government of Maharashtra


·         Each organization to share its experiences in the present flood situation, and indicate key suggestions/ priorities wrt rehabilitation

·         Identification of key sectors or components of rehabilitation based on the group’s assessment of what needs to be done and references to earlier policies or efforts.


·         Formation of a Drafting Group who will develop a Draft Policy based on suggestions from the meeting. This could be a group of 3-4 persons who could continue after lunch to finish this task. The plan for dissemination of the draft for comments and ratification from a wider cross section of groups, along with timeline must be decided in this meeting.

·         Identification of advocacy strategy with the appropriate government authorities. This may involve formation of a representative Advocacy Group that pursues the implementation of recommendations with the government for the formation and implementation of a Rehab Policy. This effort should also tie in with existing co-ordination / advocacy groups in Mumbai and in other regions.


National Alliance of People’s Movements l  Vikas Sahyog Pratisthan l  Development Support Team l  CRY l  Tata Institute of Social Sciences l  College of Social Work l  YUVA


Mohan Surve (VSP) and Dr. Denzel Saldhanha (TISS/ YUVA) introduced the objectives and proposed outcomes of the meeting. They invited participants to introduce themselves.

Need to move towards rehabilitation

Raju Bhise (YUVA) presented to the group the highlights of the meeting held with the Chief Minister on 9 August 2005. In this meeting it was felt that the focus of the government was still on relief work, and there was no thought being given to the rehabilitation process. The impression was also that except for Mumbai, relief work had not progressed at the required speed at which it is required.

Valmik Nikalje (Bal Hakka Abhiyan – Manvi Hakka Abhiyan) added that they had proposed in the meeting that the Chief Minister should also provide attention to the relief process in rural affected parts of Maharashtra . The CM’s commitment to provide educational materials and his statement that all school children across Maharashtra were insured was also reported.

Milind Bokil (DST) clarified that the government has not declared their intent to develop a rehabilitation policy or package for the flood affected, and the present meeting is focusing on the rehabilitation that needs to reach the flood affected.



Measures for registration of losses need to be strengthened

Sunita Gandhi (Samvad) reported that in Chiplun most of the aid through the government and voluntary agencies is reaching the city rather than the villages and hamlets, although the losses are equal in both areas.  The registration of losses and deaths (panchnama) has also not happened in the villages. The government machinery is also focusing on taking health related measures in the city, and expressed an inadequacy in meeting the requirements across the city and villages.

Losses related to Housing & Livelihood

The government is providing Rs. 4800 to those who lost their entire house, and Rs. 2400 to those who have had partial loss. However even those that were only partially affected, are experiencing the further disintegration of their housing structures. The fields have also been completely wiped out, and livelihood resources/ tools of the fishing community have also been lost completely. The reconstruction of livelihood is therefore an important point in the rehabilitation plan.

Rajan Indulkar (Shramik Sahyog - VSP) shared that this has been the worst flood in Konkan in the last 15 years. This is definitely a natural calamity caused not only by the high level of rainfall but also the blocking of routes for the flow and drainage of water due to unplanned and haphazard construction. We need to consider how families can be provided the resources to build ‘pucca’ houses for those in areas prone to flooding.

Deforestation & Displacement: We need to “Save the Konkan Region”

He added that Land sliding has also been a major problem in this context. Many villages and families have been asked to relocate by the government, especially families living near or on the hillside. We need to question why this has happened, including the mass deforestation that has been undertaken by the government that has caused such land slides, and people have become victims of the same. If the same floods had happened in the night, the extent of loss of life and property would have been unimaginable. We need to seriously review the overall development pattern of the Konkan region and the management of natural resources such as rivers. Presently there is a dam built in every valley, with no holistic assessment of its impact. The sludge from the Koyna project has filled the Vasisthi creek, thus creating a real danger for the Konkan region. There is a need for us to focus now not only on Konkan Development but also on Saving the Konkan Region.

Planning for Rehabilitation & Relocation

Sriram (Sahil) presented that the government has been active in Konkan region. In South Konkan , most of the land belongs to private owners, and only 8-10% belongs to the government. The question then of rehabilitation and relocation of families is a question – but where is the land? The government has not declared or planned any provisions / policy for those who have nowhere to live – there is no arrangement for even temporary shelter. There are also families who have no resources to feed themselves, but there has been no initiative to provide food.

Assessment of Losses to Estimate Compensation Required

We should ask for Compensation for farmers who have lost their fields, and provision of livelihood to affected families through government projects for rebuilding and reconstruction. This should be based on a ground level assessment of the extent and impact of losses faced across the region. We need to immediately address issues related to the use and exploitation and now, preservation of natural resources, including the specific red soil of the Konkan region.

Identification of Fodder & Seeds for Farming will be a Crucial Issue

Sriram also highlighted the need to pay attention to the needs of and respond to the growing number of informal settlements in Chiplun. Across the Konkan region in the coming months, the key question will be of where to identify fodder for cattle, and in the coming year this will be a crucial question. Sunita added that the question of procurement of seeds for this year’s farming activity is also to be explored.

Call for Management of Water Resources

Arun Shivkar (Sakhav) presented the situation of the Pen, Raigad. He said that there has been large-scale damage to land and fields due to the erosion of soil and flooding of seawater. The greatest destruction has been in the areas where the natural mangroves have been destroyed. He stressed that attention needs to be paid to the flow of natural water resources, especially connecting rivers to the sea. In the course of new development, the natural routes for water flow and drainage have been closed.

Need to review and update Compensation Rates

He added that his group has surveyed and registered losses of 12,000 farmers but they don’t know what they are actually going to receive. The existing provisions of compensation to farmers for loss or damage to farming land is meager as they are according to Government Resolutions that are more than two decades old (1983).

Groups in Pen are organizing to demand that the provisions should be revised and updated with the present context. Further, the existing deadline for the insurance of crops is July 31st of each year. This date should be extended to enable farmers to recover the losses incurred. Organizations should play a monitoring and support role in the registration of losses and estimation of the financial losses incurred as a result.

Need to ascertain losses across groups, including tribal communities

Milind Bokil presented his suggestions related to the registration and compensation for loss of land and fields, including for tribal communities. Such communities have been completely displaced by the floods. He also shared the government form for the documentation of losses (Panchnama). Arun shared that each Tehsildar or Collector was developing varied formats for registration, to which Milind suggested that we should also ask for a uniform format that can be operational across the region.

Livelihood through Flood Reconstruction Programs

The implementation of the public employment schemes in the private lands, and not only in the public owned land, for the reconstruction of infrastructure damaged in the floods should be stressed.  This can be the primary source of livelihood for the affected families, and also means for agricultural and infrastructure restoration.

Critical Look at Planning Processes & Land Classification

Sriram added that the government should extend the areas declared as ‘gaothans’ (areas notified for settlement, and approved for the provision of basic services) and should also declare additional areas ‘gaothans’. He added that there should be additional measures to verify the Panchanama being made to register losses.

Milind highlighted that the severity of the floods has been caused due to indiscrimate planning across urban and rural regions. He cited the impact of the development of the National Expressway between Baroda and Ahmedabad that caused considerable flooding and damage to the villages alongside.

Differentiate between Rehabilitation and Reconstruction

Ram Kowligi (Prayas) shared that the two main points in this context were compensation and rehabilitation. The political realities in availing these needs to be reviewed. It appears that there is no relationship between the assessment of losses through Panchnama and the extent of compensation. The compensation will be based on what funds the government will make available, rather the actual extent of losses. Also, the term rehabilitation seems to apply to those who have been ‘displaced’ physically and it may exclude those whose lands have been affected. For these groups, the government may look at reconstruction. We need to bring in agricultural and technical experts to assess and recommend the extent of loss. We should also realize that the government cannot provide everything, and what can be a realistic role that they can play with an emphasis on people’s participation.

The Poorest Are Still Being Left Out!

Vijay Sapte (Amardeep) shared the experiences of Mahad where they are in contact with 3500 families that are displaced. There is no organized effort for their relocation and they currently exist in campuses, open lands and homes. There is a need for redevelopment of the basic infrastructure that has been damaged including roads. The Tehsildar and Collectors officials for the assessment of losses are not engaging the tribal communities and landless families. These reports are being taken only from the landowners, creating a feeling that those who have property and resources will be the ones who will receive compensation, whereas those who are landless and poor will not be assessed and will not receive any help.


Political and Administrative Gaps have caused Flooding

Shahaji Gadhire (Janpath Vikas Manch / Mandesh Pratisthan) shared that in Western Maharashtra , it is the first time that there has been a flood of this extent. In areas such as Solapur and Sangli, on one hand there is a scarcity of drinking water and on the other hand there is a flood. The villages in Sangli and Kolhapur have also been affected by the dispute over the Alampatti dam and the management of rivers between the state governments of Maharashtra and Karnataka. This, he felt, was the primary reason of the floods and not merely the extent of rainfall.

Dalit Families Continue To Be At The Margins, Even For Relief

Assessments have been made in 485 villages in this region and the worst affected are the Dalit and landless families. The losses incurred by the wealthy landowners have been more visible and at the forefront. They are also at the centre of attention for relief. The landless Dalit families have received meager provisions in comparision, as they are not seen to have incurred visible losses.

Changes in the Natural Course of Rivers

In Islampur and Kolhapur districts the very routes of rivers have been modified as a result, leading to excessive flooding in neighboring settlements. He provided examples of how hamlets where there has historically been a scarcity of water, have been flooded. Linking these groups to the larger relief and resettlement efforts/ provisions is the challenge that we face. The broadening and effective implementation of existing schemes for livelihood and food distribution should be emphasized. The provision of land for rehabilitation of the landless should be the priority of the government, and the expansion of the areas classified as Gaothans.


Bring The Relief And Rehabilitation Of The Informal Sector Into Focus

Valmik Nikalje shared that even in Mumbai, groups such as the informal workers – again whose losses are not visible – have not been included in the effort to reach relief or assess for compensation/ rehabilitation. This includes tribal families and communities based in the city who survive by growing vegetables within small tracts of land in the city, such as near railway tracks. There has been no effort to include these groups in the relief and rehabilitation effort.

Artisans, both in rural and urban areas, who have lost their means of livelihood should also be considered and included for rehabilitation. The government has implemented Livelihood Program in rural areas, but not in urban areas – there should not be such a distinction. In Marathwada, the distinction of land by classification or ownership is also a factor that may affect the scope and extent of rehabilitation and compensation. He also referred to the Charter of Demands that was developed by development organizations in a meeting in Mumbai.

Provision of Interest Free Credit to the Informal Sector should be a Priority

Raju Bhise added that the groups working in the informal sector have been totally excluded from the relief and assessment processes. The floods came in the afternoon when they were on the roads with their livelihood goods, which are not recognized by the government. How can we get such groups registered with the government for losses? The availability of interest free/ low interest credit to the informal sector should be a priority, as they will not have the resources to reconstruct their livelihood.

Participatory Planning for Reconstruction and Future Development

Raju continued that another important question is the reconstruction of houses in cities such as Mumbai. The rehabilitation of communities that are at risk due to floods or other reasons must also be taken up on a priority basis. The strengthening of provisions for participatory planning in the 74th CAA should be emphasized in the process of rehabilitation.

Call For A Review Of All Mega-Projects Being Implemented In Mumbai

Raju also pointed out that the moot point in Mumbai is that the natural flow of water has been blocked by encroachments, and in some cases this argument is being used to justify the evictions that were held earlier in the year. There is a need to review the causes for the blocking of the natural paths of water in the city, and also the planning norms and standards across wards. The Development Planning pattern across the Mumbai region should be reviewed since the consequences of reclamation for cities such as Mumbai will have a drastic impact on neighbouring cities of Mumbra, Vasai, etc.

The large scale projects of Mumbai such as MUTP, MUIP and Dharavi Redevelopment require to be reviewed as they have contributed to the blocking of the natural flow of water, in the same manner as the Gujurat Highway as stated earlier.

This Was Not A Natural Disaster, But An ‘Invited Disaster’

Sanjay MG (Samajwadi JanParishad – NAPM) expressed that it was good that we discussed the matter of Maharashtra first, since this aspect has been completely ignored. However in Mumbai itself at the end of the second week after the flood it is necessary to look at the broader issues that have caused this situation. In the light of the broader impact such as global warming and climate change there is a high possibility that such floods may occur again and again.

He said that this is an Invited Disaster and there is a total lack of leadership from the government. In the context of Mumbai there is a need for an immediate Environment Analysis on the causes of this situation that needs to be taken to the people at the grassroots. There is an effort to gain real information about the level of rainfall as the case may have been that the floods have occurred even with a mere 10mm rainfall, and some experts have warned that Mumbai could flood even with a high tide.

Strengthening Community Based Groups and Local Organization Processes

He also noted the initiative of small local groups and community organizations in responding to the disaster and the capacity building and linking of such groups should be the focus of our efforts. He also linked the earlier trend among key political leaders and the economic elite of revising the CRZ regulations and opening up land for built development that has aggravated the situation. There needs to be an immediate announcement of an emergency and that all constructions must be stopped at once. If the above is not implemented we will only move from one disaster to another. Political leaders are currently playing a blame-game, but we need to direct a more sustained process of reform and review that should have a strong ground base. We should decide our agenda and meet with the CM on our own terms.

The Suffering Continues

Ayub Khan (MPJ) shared that not much has been done yet to lift garbage and provide relief in communities near Mithi River . Javed reported about the situation from Mumbra. Children have been severely affected and families do not have resources for food or medical needs. Water is still seeping from the ground, and there is high incidence of infections and decay. The immediate need is to restart schools that can be centers for dispensation of relief and support to children. Many people are still unaware of the government schemes or provisions, and how to access them. The distribution of food is affected by vested interests and not reaching the poorest. There are no resources or aids to even purify water for drinking. There are houses were walls have cracked, and it will not be fit for habitation. Some communities have been completely wiped out.

Making Linkages Between the Urban and the Rural

Sriram also added that there should be separate strategies for Mumbai and other rural areas to avoid adequate attention to all areas. However, Ram added, that we need to also focus on the linkages between rural and urban areas wrt economy, environment and deprivation.


Liaisoning with the Government

Valmik Nikalje shared that it was the common experience that just after a natural disaster the government holds a spate of meetings to which all groups are invited. However within a few weeks, it closes its doors to most groups and selects a few consultants or organizations to represent its work. He said that we must ensure this does not happen in this case, and the lines of communication and co-ordination among voluntary agencies must be strong.

Strengthening Co-ordination Among Voluntary Groups

N.A. Farooqui (Jamia Ulama) shared his experiences from the relief and rehabilitation efforts in Gujurat. As in Gujurat, he experienced that the Dalit and Muslim populations stood to be the worst affected. However he felt that in comparision to Gujurat, the NGO co-ordination seemed to be weak and efforts for flow of information and promotion of advocacy agenda with strong backing of grassroots communities needs to be strengthened.

He added that in the context of Mumbai, there is an attitude that since there are groups who were already poor and whose lives have always been miserable, things for them have not become any worse after the floods. Thus there is lack of initiative to do anything significant to mitigate their losses, and go beyond the existing provisions and policies that exist for generic relief situations. He spoke of the mechanisms of Abhiyan in Gujurat that were successful in bringing people’s issues to the government and leverage their strength to enable an effective response. He added that we need to do the same for Mumbai.

Need for Emphasize Inclusion & Co-ordination

Kamini Kapadia (Action Aid India ) shared that a co-ordination meeting of voluntary organizations had been organized in Mumbai on 2nd August 2005. She reflected on N. A. Farooqui’s statement that the government is working only with select 3-4 NGOs and not listening to the issues of community based groups. She shared that there has been an attempt to develop Ward level Relief Committees to enable local co-ordination. Some organizations have developed an Advocacy Group and prepared a draft Charter of Demands. This is open for expansion and inclusion of the aspirations and needs of broader communities to make it a comprehensive Charter of Demands. She shared that a meeting has been organized at 11am in Nirmala Niketan next Saturday. She felt that a draft of the rehabilitation plan could be discussed in this meeting, and more groups should associate with this.

She said that there is a need to tie in the different levels of work that are operating at the moment and replicate the Gujarat model of co-ordinated effort and a common pressure group. There should also be a special focus on women, children and specific groups.

Strengthening and Monitoring the Rehabilitation Process

For the context of the Rehabilitation Policy, she suggested that NGOs should be recognized as partners in the rehabilitation process. The review of existing formats for registration of losses was also suggested, and a comprehensive mapping of the areas to distinguish which are being covered and which are being left out should be undertaken.

There should not be duplication between groups in providing relief and a listing of the outreach areas and efforts of organizations should also be undertaken. The strengthening of communication and information systems is also a focus area. People friendly versions of government notices and policies need to be developed. The rehabilitation policy should be contextual and not a blanket policy – and the groups here have a responsibility to ensure this. The role of gram sabhas and community organizations should be highlighted in the proposed policy. The effort to reach and include a wide cross section of organizations and groups should also be emphasized with the government. Denzel added that along with the policy draft, the role of the civil society in supporting the government efforts, and playing an oversight or watchdog role should be developed.

Pursuing Access to Information About Losses and Relief Expenditure

Ashish Damle (Childline India Foundation) shared about the Disaster Management Cell of the Maharshtra government. He shared that representatives of the Disaster Control Room of the State government had reported that its Rapid Assessment Survey has been completed. However the data is not available for review, and though they have initiated the Loss Assessment Survey there has been no dissemination of formats. Ashish stressed that we should co-ordinate for access to these records and formats.

A total of 1000 crore has been received for relief out of which 200 crore has been spent. We should get information about this. In his discussion with persons in the Disaster Control Room, he assessed that the government is looking for voluntary organizations to play a role in monitoring relief and they can make available information about where the government survey is being undertaken. They would also like to receive a write up from voluntary organizations on our strengths, plan of action, resources and who we are.  He clarified that the state website is not functional, due to lack of technical capacities in the Control Room.


Preparation of a Memorandum on the Rehabilitation of the Flood Affected

Lysa John (YUVA) summarized the key insights and expectations in relation to rehabilitation that had merged from the consultation. These would form the basis for the written draft that is the expected outcome of the meeting. Participants of the meeting were also invited to stay back after lunch to review the key conclusions and contribute to preparing the expected draft 

Milind Bokil suggested that we should consolidate the learning from the present discussion into a Memorandum to the Government. Ram Kowligi added that we could work towards a detailing the Memorandum towards a Draft Policy based on interactions relevant state representatives to gauge their readiness and the appropriate timing for such action in this regard.

The group agreed that the conclusions of the meeting is being could be developed as a Memorandum for Rehabilitation of the Flood Affected, that will be widely disseminated across groups/ regions and thereafter discussed with relevant government representatives.

Moving the Agenda of Rehabilitation Forward

Mohan Surve shared that the role of civil society organizations in moving agenda forward is critical. He added that in disasters it is usually only resource related relief is emphasized but the root and developmental causes of the disaster are not addressed. The discussion today has provided a sharp focus and perspective to what needs to be done, and this should be made operational not only through the individual efforts of those involved in this meeting, but also in a collective manner.

The widest possible dissemination of the draft that arises out of this meeting is absolutely necessary. The group needs to decide on other follow up actions that could be taken to take the outcomes of the day ahead. In response to this Sanjay shared that public education and mobilization is the focus of NAPM’s work on this. Denzel summarized that the key themes emerging from the meeting are action for Prevention, Rehabilitation and Response Preparedness as well as the role of Information in the same.


The group agreed that the next meeting for follow-up could be held in conjunction with the NGO Co-ordination Meeting scheduled for 20 August 2005, Saturday at 11am. This meeting is being held at the College of Social Work , Nirmala Niketan.

Five written submissions were provided for the purpose of the meeting. Two of these were received after the conclusion of the meeting but were reviewed and discussed in the meeting on the Drafting Process that followed in the afternoon.





Address & Tel

Tel / Email


Milind Bokil

Development Support Team

Pune - 020-25424663


Jaffer NurMohamed

Oxfam Australia




Sandeep Patnaik


Pune - 020-2952003/4


Shahaji Gadhire

Janpath Vikas Manch/ Mandesh Pratisthan

A-15 Deepak Park , Kalyani Nagar Corner, Pune – 6



Rajan Indulkar

Shramik Sahyog/ VSP

At Sati, PO Pimpoli, Tal. Chiplun, Dist. Ratnagiri 415604; Tel: 02355-256027


Ram Kowligi


Pune: 020-25232836


Sanjay Mangal Gopal

Samajwadi Jan Parishad / NAPM

Mumbai: 022-25369724


Adv. Valmik Nikalje

Bal Hakka Abhiyan – Manvi Hakka Abhiyan

02441-232667 / 9422651271 / 9371182661


Sunita Gandhi


Sayyedshed Chawl, PO Chiplun, Ratnagiri; Tel -02355 261890/ 9423278324



Raju Bhise


53/52 Nare Park Mu. School, Parel, Mumbai 400012; Tel: 022-24116394


D. Saldanha


Tel: 2556 3290


Mohan Surve




Lysa John


Parel, Mumbai






M.Ayub Khan





N A Farooqui

Jamia Ulama




Hakeemuddin Qasmi

Jamia Ulama





Jamia Ulama




Vaishali Patil


Pen, Raigad; Tel – 02143-253691, 9422696976;


Kamini Kapadia

Action Aid



M A Rahman

Jamia Ulama e Maharashtra



Chandan Chawla


YUVA Centre, Khargar; Tel – 27560999/ 90







Arun Shivkar





Vijay Sapte


Morba Road , Mangan, Raigad; Tel – 952140 263341



S Javed

Relief Committee Mumbra

20/203 Shailesh Nagar, Mumbra; Tel: 56842650 / 984933108












Ashish Damle

Childline India Foundation

Nana Chowk Mun. School; Tel – 23881098


Sugandhi B




Maya Nair


84, Samuel Street , Dongri, Mumbai


Prasad Manjrekar

Action Aid International Mumbai R.O