Facilities that require repair and upgradation

With almost the whole village in ruins, the immediate need is reconstruction of houses with sensitivity to the inhabitants’ specifications and requirements. Above all, the situation that occurred after the Latur earthquake wherein a large number of new houses remain uninhabited due to lack of consideration for the villagers’ needs, must be avoided. Majority of the houses in the village were two to three room houses with a kitchen, and a toilet outside the house. Other features include courtyards, cowsheds, looms or grain storage depending on the profession of the resident, and verandas. Special attention needs to be paid to features typical of Kutch such as niches in the walls for storage, and decoration and embellishment of walls. The other type of housing consists of Bhungas, which are essentially circular mud huts, constructed on a low platform, with a deep overhanging thatched roof. Additionally, housing needs to be designed, using appropriate materials, to withstand earthquakes of large magnitude and extreme temperature fluctuations throughout the year. Caste/religious sensitivity and proximity to the fields should be incorporated into the village plan. Approximately 50% of the raw material for reconstruction is recoverable, including most of the doors and windows. The debris may be used in the aggregate for the roads or pavement, barring which appropriate disposal sites will have to be identified.

Water supply:
Given the arid conditions and dependence on agriculture in Kutch, the water tables have been falling over the years, and high levels of salinity in the ground water further compound this problem. Of the three original wells, only one bore well is functional and is located 1.5 Km outside the village. However, this well has almost been exhausted and there is a need for a new source of water, for which the villagers are going ahead with another bore well. The entire village has been crossed with PVC pipelines for water circulation along the internal pathways, but as such there is no steady water supply to the houses. The main source of drinking water is the well, and there is no water treatment or purification system in place. The village has two rivers that are presently almost dry. All these factors point to a dire need for watershed management.

Watershed management facilities:
The lack of a steady source of fresh water and the scarcity of rainfall put watershed management high on the priority list. One of the ways to do this is the addition of standard rainwater gutters at the eaves of the roof and have the water flow to a designated container for storage.

Proper sewage and sanitation systems:
The new houses that will be built will have to have toilets, and there needs to be adequate provision for drainage and sewage disposal. The previous sewage and sanitation systems are outdated and not very effective. New, efficient systems will need to be added, or the existing systems could be modified.

A co-ed primary school with strength of 222 students and 7 teachers was fully functional before the earthquake. The school had from classes I to VII, with children of ages ranging from 5 to 14 years. Morning or afternoon sessions were held, depending on the season. In addition, a small kindergarten with 52 students was taught by 3 teachers, and functioned for 7 months of the year. The primary school needs to be rebuilt, and the possibility of the addition of a secondary school should be explored.

Medical Centre:
The previous medical centre was mainly a small dispensary, with 3 doctors who are currently incapacitated. For major medical problems, villagers depend on a hospital 8 km away from the village. A better medical centre equipped to handle more complex medical problems could be added, provided there is enough demand and there are qualified doctors and nurses to staff it.

Internal roads:
Some areas in the village have tar or stone roads, laid by the villagers. Circulation within the village is adequate during the winter, but the road becomes hot during the summer and muddy during the rains. A better system of paved/tar roads would serve to connect the village more efficiently. Road connections to neighbouring towns and villages would help the villagers trade their goods in a larger market.

Only 75% of the houses have electricity connections, but face problems with fluctuation. Also, there is no street lighting in the village apart from in the main square. With the rehabilitation process, provisions could be made to add street lighting, and also make electricity connections available to the houses that did not previously have them

Also read about:

Kutch : A Brief Overview

Rehabilitation and reconstruction

Bhadli Village: Rehabilitation Plans

Proposed Plan for the Rehabilitation of Bhadli Village

The Village in Pieces - A visual presentation

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