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In the aftermath of tsunami disaster on 26.12.2004, Government have sanctioned plethora of relief and rehabilitation measures with the aid of Government of India and Externally aided Agencies viz., World Bank and Asian Development Bank supported by NGOs in the initial stage of relief.
The objective is to provide immediate relief and long term rehabilitation; to convert the traumatic challenge into an opportunity and create-environment friendly and safe habitations; to provide livelihood options with specific focus on the empowerment of the vulnerable sections of the society especially women; to enhance the effectiveness of the community to face disasters in the future and to obtain sustainable and lasting outcomes by forging strong public-private partnerships.


The Government of Tamil Nadu with the following strategic intent paved way for the realizing the objectives under long term rehabilitation.
• Reconstruct damaged and vulnerable houses using disaster resistant features.
• Undertake vulnerability mapping to locate new habitations in safer locations
• Create new sustainable livelihood options in harmony with environment.
• From SHGs, especially for the weaker sections to empower them.
• Build capacity of coastal communities to cope more effectively with disasters.
• Restore coastal ecology.
• Provide better physical infrastructure.
• Address psychological trauma and educational needs of children for an improved future.
 
The Government of India also ably supported the initiative of Government of Tamil Nadu. Besides providing funds, it also set up a Core Group Committee and an Inter-Ministerial Central Team, a Joint Assessment Mission with the participation of Multilateral Funding Institutions such as World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United Nations and Commonwealth Agencies, to facilitate assessment, development, implementation and monitoring of the immediate short and long term programmes and to provide the necessary guidance and approvals.
In order to implement the above, it was decided to establish an exclusive unit office to plan, coordinate, review and monitor these projects and also for managing and judicious distribution of huge funds received from the Externally Aided Agencies / Government of India / Government of Tamil Nadu running to Rs. 5280.75 crores ** (break up of funds given as note), Government in G.O.Ms.No.418, Revenue, dated 20.7.2005 have sanctioned the establishment of Project Management Unit headed by the Project Director viz., Officer on Special Duty (RR) who will be also function as a Project Director, Office of the Revenue Administration, Disaster Management and Mitigation Department, Chennai. Further, the supporting staffs along with the following specialists were also appointed on contract basis to assist the Project Director /
 

Project Management Units / Project Implementing Units covering the following areas.
1. Environment Analysis
2. Social Management
3. Procurement
4. Engineering
5. Finance and Accounts
6. Quality Assurance and Technical Audit
7. Information Technology
8. Monitoring and Evaluation
9. Water Supply and Sanitation
Note:
(Aid from Government of India – Rs. 2347.19 crore, Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund Rs.304.99 crore, World Bank Rs. 1959.10 crore, Asian Development Bank Rs. 629.64 crore, Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction Rs. 16.70 crore, Member of Parliament Local Area Development Fund Rs. 23.13 crore).
The Specialists are either individuals or firms who will be appointed on the basis of the guidelines of the respective funding agencies. Besides regular staff were also appointed for general administrative purposes in G.O.Ms.No.58, Revenue (NC III) Department, dated 5.2.2005.
The Project Management Unit will be responsible for the overall management of the projects funded by the Externally Aided Agencies and Government of India / Government of Tamil Nadu
The establishment of Project Management Unit acted as a catalyst in implementing the various relief and response measures in the long run. The unit also buttressed the concept of replicating the models developed under long term rehabilitation, which latently had the theme of overall disaster risk reduction. Further, many lessons were learnt during the last few years in response and mitigation efforts. The unit also catered to establishment of new trends in rehabilitation strategies adopted for coordination, empowerment of local officers, the housing reconstruction policy and the livelihood and social support measures formulated by GoTN time and again. Besides, the unit also had a role in pioneering symbiotic relationships with various stakeholders in disaster risk reduction / community development with initiatives like livelihood, better building standards, safety drills for fishermen, special schemes for the vulnerable like the differently abled persons, orphaned children etc., and in understanding the coastal habitat. The unprecedented attention on the coastal communities especially fishermen has led to far reaching changes in their living standards and facilities available for them in terms of education, health and landing facilities. The efforts taken by Project Management Unit in tandem with the Implementing Agencies with the support of NGOs have gingered up the expectations for managing the natural disasters in future with fortitude.
To galvanize the theme of disaster risk reduction in all developmental initiatives, based on the review taken by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in June 2006, the Project Management Unit is taking up an ambitious programme to reconstruct poorly constructed houses in the vulnerable rural areas in coastal districts with funding from Government of India (RGRP) and World Bank (Restructured ETRP-VRCC Project). The above programme also envisage providing evacuation shelters, evacuation routes and early warning systems will be undertaken to comprehensively build safer coastal communities.