CII Northern Region

CII''s Leh Relief & Rehabilitation Operations

On 6 August 2010, the LEH CLOUDBURST brought about vast devastation. Hundreds of lives  were lost, swept away and buried in mud, over 1300 houses destroyed; More than 40 percent farmland rendered infertile putting thousands of survivors in relief camps.


CII responded by immediately swinging into action. Obstacles were slashed to permit purchases of emergency supplies and equipment, and mobilisation of other resources with minimum delay.


Co-operative arrangements between government and private organisations were made to coordinate the delivery of relief supplies. With its prior experience in relief efforts at various places, CII formulated a 3-pronged strategy to support Leh in this hour of crisis.


Immediate relief...

A 4-member team was immediately mobilised to be at its staging site in Leh and provide on-ground assessment and constant feedback. The complexity of the terrain exceeded any one agency''s capabilities, Yet, supported by its member companies, CII mobilised 20 tonnes of immediate relief worth Rs 1.2 crore. These were transported by land and air.


A 15-member team procured material and packed in distributable packs for immediate use. The relief material including family packs (sugar, tea, snacks, salt & fruit) for immediate consumption, hygiene kits, community tents, woollen clothing, blankets, kitchen utensils, 200 solar lanterns & battery lamps, water purification systems & 10,000 tablets, medicines and hand-tools for clearing debris, was distributed across 21 locations.


CII was the first to reach 7 inaccessible villages to distribute relief and rehabilitation material, after clearing roads, and crossing the Zanskar River with a Ropeway trolley.


As the next step, rehabilitation had to be provided to those rendered homeless. As an initial step, 2 community tents, with capabilities to house 30 to 40 people each, have been provided. These are currently being used as schools.


CII Leh relief and rehabilitation task force

To provide support, guidance and facilitate implementation, a CII Leh relief and rehabilitation task force has been set up. The task force is chaired by Mr Sunil Kant Munjal, Past President, CII and Co-Chaired by Mr Harpal Singh, Past Chairman, CII Northern Region. Mr Harpal Singh visited Leh on 7 – 8 September 2010 and had a participatory meeting with the villagers of Saboo.



Effective emergency response requires the right person at the right place at the right time. Having provided timely immediate relief, as the next step CII continued to advance rehabilitation implementation. CII will be constructing 50 houses in at least 2-3 villages - Saboo and any other site that the government identifies. The houses will be built at sites identified by villagers and will be an improved version of the traditional Ladakhi house.


The improvised version has been designed so as to strengthen the structure to make it earthquake-resistant using locally available material. A team of local Ladakhi engineers, contractor and Delhi-based architect and structural engineers are working on the house reconstruction project. Walls will be made with compressed earth blocks, stabilised with cement. Instead of the wooden roofs, CII will be using CGI sheets with EPS insulation. The proposed houses with one large ladakhi kitchen, one smaller room and an air-locking corridor, with double-glazed windows for solarisation, are estimated to cost approx Rs 3.5 lakh each. CII has bought a fully-automated machine for manufacturing the compressed earth blocks.


2 houses were handed over by Mr P Chidambaram, Union Home Minister to the beneficiaries.



  1. Rigzin, a 50 yr old single woman with 85 year old mother who is ill and can’t move
  2. Shafi Mohhamed, a constable in J&K police. His wife gave birth to a baby boy 20 days later their house was washed away by the cloud burst

Through the harsh winter, CII stocked material for the remaining houses and ensured that nobody in Saboo village was homeless through the winter.


Material support for construction



CGI Sheets

Essar Steel

Steel Sariya

SPS Group of Companies

J Hooks & M S Pipes

BVM Exports

EPS Sheets

Thermo packers

Glass for windows

Saint Gobain & Asahi India

Insulated false ceiling for 2 model houses

Frick India


Tata Motors

Truck for road transport

Swaraj Mazda

Earth moving Equipment

JCB India


Smarat Plywood

Rest 11 houses will be taken up in May and completed within 2 – 3 months


Partnerships at work... 

Partnerships were expanded as never before and these alliances have helped build capabilities that had not existed earlier. It assisted in reconstructing and improving on what the cloud burst destroyed. The relief and part rehabilitation work has been made possible through partnerships with and assistance from the J&K State Government, DC, Leh, Mr Tsering Angchuk, R E Rogers, Indian Air Force, Indian Army, Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines and members who have generously contributed in cash and kind. In doing so, lessons were learned for future humanitarian assistance.


Livelihood opportunities... 

CII will, in Phase III, work with local committees & NGOs to:


  • Promote cottage industries
  • Promote skills in carpet weaving, pashmina weaving, food processing, local handicraft, wood & metal etc, hospitality, solar lantern repairs and maintenance, mobile repair and animal husbandry
  • Help improve agriculture
  • Help set up horticulture & food processing industry


For contributions contact:


Alka Chaudhary
M: 098101-28628 Email:


Navdeep Kaur
M: 098159-73674 Email:


Aakanksha Kumar
M: 098109-76866 Email:

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