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Tsunami reconstruction activities in Town Panchayats
Strategies and outcomes


The devastation unleashed by the fury of massive Tsunami waves on 26th December 2004 was unprecedented in nature. It also affected around 50 Town Panchayats of six coastal districts namely Kancheepuram, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Kanyakumari and Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu.

It was an extraordinary calamity of rare severity. According to the intensity of disaster, the affected Town Panchayats were categorized as

“worst damaged” and “partially damaged” Town Panchayats. Out of the 50 coastal Town Panchayats, 19 Town Panchayats were declared as

“worst damaged” Town Panchayats with loss of life and property damages.

The Town Panchayat Administration of Municipal Administration & Water Supply Department undertook relief and rehabilitation with great speed to tackle the magnitude of devastation by way of restoration of the damaged infrastructure and livelihood of Tsunami affected people.

Repair, restoration and rehabilitation activities were taken up under two projects namely Tsunami
Emergency Assistance Project (TEAP) funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB) at a cost of Rs.6351.40 lakhs and Emergency Tsunami Reconstruction Project (ETRP) supported by World Bank at a cost of Rs.1641.70 lakhs and project activities are nearing completion in most places.

Asian Development Bank assisted TEAP

Restoration of damaged roads and construction of new buildings at the cost of Rs. 3504.01 lakhs, improvement of water supply and sanitation facilities at the cost for Rs. 895.04 lakhs and activities for the restoration of the livelihood of affected people was taken up at an estimated amount of Rs. 1267.80 lakhs.

World Bank supported ETRP

Basic amenities such as street lights, electricity house service connections, water supply, sanitation facilities and infrastructure facilities like formation of roads and construction of buildings were provided in the newly constructed Tsunami habitations with the grant of Rs. 1641.70 lakhs. Works relating to formation of roads at the cost of Rs. 1062.10 lakhs, public utility buildings at the cost of Rs. 190.05 lakhs, provision of storm water drains and parks at the cost of Rs. 223.04 lakhs were taken up. Street lights and electricity house service connections were provided at the cost of Rs. 105.08 lakhs.

Newly Created Habitations

About 57 new habitations have been formed in 18 Town Panchayats through reputed NGOs and other organisations with the overall supervision of the District administration. These habitations have been provided with basic amenities and infrastructure facilities such as internal and approach roads, electricity house service connections, street lights, storm water drains, public utility buildings such as community halls, anganwadi buildings, buildings for Self Help Groups (SHGs), cremation sheds, bus shelters and library buildings.


A Synopsis of Reconstruction Activities

In order to ameliorate the loss caused by the aftermath of Tsunami, various restoration and reconstruction works have been taken up. Livelihood restoration, repairs and upgradation of roads, buildings, water supply, sanitation and solid waste management infrastructure have been taken up under Tsunami Emergency Assistance Project (TEAP) and basic amenities in the newly constructed Tsunami habitations have been provided under ETRP at a total cost of Rs.7993.10.

Access and connectivity Roads


Under TEAP, total length of 196.929 kms of damaged roads at a cost of Rs3050.04 lakhs have been reconstructed of which cement concrete (CC) roads constitute 84.703 kms and BT roads constitute 112.226 kms. The 160 restored roads have vastly improved the access and connectivity in and around the affected places.

Under ETRP, provision of internal cement concrete (CC) roads at the new tsunami habitations for a length of 58.58 kms at a cost of Rs.1062.14 lakhs have been taken up.

Construction of Buildings

Under TEAP, repair and reconstruction of nine Public utility buildings comprising of one Community Hall, six Office Buildings, one library building at a cost of Rs.452.28 lakhs have been taken up. About eight building works have been completed and construction of a fish market complex at an  estimated cost of Rs.89.00 lakhs at Velankanni Town Panchayat was sanctioned recently. About forty fish stalls, sixteen mutton stalls, ten chicken stalls, ten vegetable stalls and ten grocery shops will be accommodated in the proposed fish market complex.

Under ETRP, a total of seventy two public utility building works have been taken up at a cost of Rs.265.00 lakhs of which fifty one building works have been completed. Out of the balance, nine works are under progress and twelve works are in the tender stage.

Street Lights and House Service Connections

Under ETRP, 1044 street lights in 37 habitations and 3451 electricity house service connections at the rate of one for each house in 34 habitations at a cost of Rs.105.16 lakhs were provided.

Water Supply and Public Toilet Facilities

Under TEAP, repairs and improvement of damaged water supply and public toilet facilities in the affected Town Panchayats at a cost of Rs.214.10 lakhs have been taken up. 34 water supply works at the cost of Rs.115.08 lakhs and 28 public toilet works at the cost Rs.99.00 lakhs have been taken up
and completed.

The TWAD board has executed comprehensive water supply schemes under TEAP in 16 Town Panchayats at the cost of Rs. 403.18 lakhs

Public Toilets

Under ground sewerage system

TWAD Board has taken up construction of underground sewerage systems under ETRP at the newly constructed tsunami habitations adopting a Single Point Intermittent Sand Filter (SPISF) Technology in 25 habitations, Decentralized Waste Water Treatment (DEWATS) technology in 20  habitations and Fluidized Bed Biological Reactor (FBBR) Technology in 5 habitations comprising an interceptor tank (collection from house-holds), a sewer grid and a filter bed with an underground drainage system in 10 Town Panchayats. The works based on SPISF Technology have been taken up in 8 habitations and are under progress.

Livelihood Activities

Tsunami not only took away lives, but also the livelihood of the survivors. The affected people were rehabilitated by forming them into Self Help Groups and providing them assistance for restoring their livelihood, enhancing their quality of life and assets to levels higher than the pre- Tsunami period.

SHGs formed

3387 SHGs
60926 members

Basic Orientation Training provided

2027 SHGs
36486 members

Skill Development Training imparted

170 SHGs
2279 members

Revolving Fund sanctioned

1648 SHGs
29736 members

Economic Assistance provided to SHGs

349 SHGs
6023 members

Economic Assistance to disabled persons


Training to Un-employed youth


An amount of Rs.1267.80 lakhs was sanctioned for the livelihood activities taken up in 19 Town Panchayats. Basic Orientation Training was given at a cost of Rs.42.72 lakhs for 2027 SHGs and skill development training to 170 SHGs at a cost of Rs.34.76 lakhs. Subsidy by way of Revolving Fund at Rs.464.00 lakhs for 1648 SHGs and Economic Assistance for 349 SHGs at Rs.510.13 lakhs and for 870 disabled individuals at Rs.87.00 lakhs have been sanctioned.

Basic Orientation Training

Skill Development Training

Economic Assistance to Self Help Groups


Economic Assistance to Disabled Individuals


Solid Waste Management

The TEAP envisages an outlay of Rs. 688.54 lakhs for providing Solid Waste Management facilities in 19Tsunami affected Town Panchayats comprising the components of awareness generation at the cost of Rs. 29.00 lakhs, procurement of vehicles, tools, accessories, equipments etc., at the cost of Rs. 286.00 lakhs and for construction of compost park, landfill, civil infrastructure at the cost of Rs. 273.00 lakhs to meet out the underlying visions of the Town Panchayats.

Awareness and sensitization activities


Equipments / Vehicles for Solid Waste Management

Initiatives for better monitoring and accountability

In order to capture and record the details of the beneficiaries of the Livelihood projects, Bio-metric Identification process is being carried out by the Commissionerate of Town Panchayats by implementing a software application which is web based so that it can be accessed from various locations across the State. This will enable proper monitoring, follow up and evaluating the impact of the livelihood projects on the beneficiaries and serve as a data base for giving benefits for the others who have not yet received any benefits.

This bio-metric technology uses fingerprints and facial photographs along with data base to create foolproof identification of the members of Self Help Groups who have received benefits under TEAP.

After recording the details, the members will be issued PVC identity cards with all their information captured on them that can be used for further transactions with the Government or any other Agency.

Bio-metric identification card



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