Bhoomika TrustTsunami-india
• Home• What we are doing• Disaster relief & rehabilitation• Reports & resources• How you can help• True Gifts
 Tsunami rehabilitation efforts  |  Perspective  |   News & events  |   Statistics  |  Relief work in visual

News & Events
Public-private partnership
By R.K. Radhakrishnan - The Hindu, Chennai, Jan. 16
The Government has issued orders detailing the nature of public-private partnerships that it has envisaged for reconstructing homes and common facilities of the tsunami affected.

Through the Revenue department order (G.O. Ms.No.25, dated January 13), the Government decided to set out the framework for partnering with the State Government for permanent relocation and rehabilitation of the affected.

In a second Revenue department order (G.O.Ms.No. 26 dated: January 13), the Government said in cases where the NGOs/corporate houses/public sector undertakings/charitable and other organisations wanted to undertake one or more specific projects such as construction of schools, child welfare centres, hospitals, primary health centres, community centres and vocational training centres, they would be permitted to do so subject to a minimum investment of Rs. 50 lakhs.

The organisations could select a particular habitation/habitations with the plan for providing permanent housing, livelihood rehabilitation, community infrastructure such as roads, water supply, schools, health facilities and noon meal centre for the entire habitation. "They are free to choose a habitation of any suitable size accommodating at least 50 families. Voluntary organizations, public sector enterprises, NGOs and corporate houses can choose any habitation/habitations with a minimum of 50 families based on their capacity. The agency bringing in the funds can associate itself with a facilitating and/or technical support organization with good credentials. The Collector will verify the proposal and accept/reject it. He can approve small variations in cost per habitation, if the rehabilitation plan is comprehensive. His decision is final. Once such proposal has been identified and accepted by the Collector, it will be given to the village panchayat concerned for passing a resolution accepting the same," the order said.

Once the village accepted the partnership, the agency should prepare a project report giving in detail the rehabilitation package, cost estimates and engineering details. A committee at the district level comprising the Collector as the chairman, the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) Project Officer and the Executive Engineer of the Public Works Department (Buildings) would approve the project. The district committee could nominate a third party agency for a quality audit. A model memorandum of understanding, type design of the houses, and eligibility guidelines for the agencies will be finalised by the Special Commissioner and Commissioner for Revenue Administration immediately. The participating agency will enter into an MOU with the Collector before beginning the project.

A project proposal to be eligible under this scheme has to be above Rs. 75 lakhs (for 50 families). There could be local variations in cost and the Collector is empowered to accept proposals with small variation, if the broad principles are followed. The Collectors will report weekly to the C.R.A. about the progress.

At a meeting organised by the Bhoomika trust here, Raju Rajagopal of the Promise of India, welcomed the prompt orders, but said these need to be fine-tuned. NGO representatives noted that the district-level committees had no civil society representation; this was needed to ensure transparency and equality in allotment. The role of the technical and facilitating organisations remained unclear; the panchayats did not have any real say and the non-fishing communities who were affected had been left out.

Gopinath of the Rotary Club of Madras requested that a timeframe be set for the Collectors to accept/reject proposals.

In a two-and-a-half-hour reply session, the Officer on Special Duty (Relief) C.V. Shankar, told the representatives that the NGO coordination meetings were held at the district level, and these would look into all issues. The problems of non-fishing communities were being considered. Discussions would be held with the affected at each stage, and hence the question of panchayats being bypassed did not arise. The Collectors would be requested to clear or refuse proposals in a fortnight.

Home | What we are doing | Disaster relief & rehabilitation | Reports & resources | How you can help | True Gifts