Latur Earthquake marks a watershed in post-disaster rehabilitation responses in India. It saw a rather comprehensive rehabilitation program and wide ranging initiatives in which a large number of non-governmental organizations pitched-in in an unprecedented manner and proportions. It brought in a variety of experts from around the world and raised debates on a broad range of issues including design of houses, technologies for reconstruction, planning of new villages, and seismic retrofitting of existing stone houses, among others. The rehabilitation phase also witnessed heated debates on many of these issues.
Rupal and Rajendra, as leaders of a team Dthat worked on the platform of an Ahmedabad based NGO called Ahmedabad Study Action Group (ASAG) went there at first as a part of a damage-assessment team that was commissioned by Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC) under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation. Subsequently, they spent six years from 1994 to 2000 in Latur region focusing their efforts on vulnerability reduction of the houses. The team worked in a number of villages demonstrating technologies, training government engineers and local masons, and building awareness on earthquake safety.
A visit was long overdue to see for themselves how the new villages have evolved, how the technologies have performed and what people today think of all that happened nearly a decade and half ago. Hence, in the month of February 2012 they made four day visit to the area. Their observations and conclusions are presented in a short report titled Latur Revisited.