Joshimath Land Subsidence: Joshimath and its nearby areas have been declared disaster-prone and all construction activities in the region have been banned. Chamoli District Magistrate informed ANI that two teams of the Central government including a team from the Jal Shakti ministry are also arriving to review the situation here. Dry ration kits are also being distributed to the residents, he added.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said that he has requested everyone to come together and save Joshimath from this crisis. He said that residents of houses, which are in danger, have been shifted assuring further efforts are on.
He also said that Prime Minister Modi is closely monitoring the situation and has assured all possible help.
Here Are The Key Developments
Joshimath has been declared a ‘sinking zone’ in the wake of continuing land subsidence.
The Supreme Court on Monday will hear a petition filed by Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati to declare the Joshimath crisis as a ‘National Disaster’.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Secretary of Border Management will be visiting the hill state to inspect the situation in Joshimath on Monday.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Sunday took stock of the situation in and around Joshimath. Uttarakhand’s chief secretary briefed the PMO about the ground situation during the meeting.
The PMO said in a statement that the Central government agencies and experts are assisting the Uttarakhand government to handle the subsidence situation in Joshimath while keeping the safety of people as their first priority.
The statement mentioned that the families that have been affected are being shifted to safe locations, while also adding that PM Modi himself has taken stock of the situation with Uttarakhand’s Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.
Panel Report On Subsidence
Ground samples collected from JP Colony area earlier resulted in hollow space in the ground, which has led to land subsidence. An expert panel report mentioned that some of the cracks were one metre deep.
The land is uneven at some places in the hill town due to which the foundation of the buildings is not strong. This is another reason behind the cracks developing in the ground, the report added.
As compared to August 2022, new cracks have been found in Manoharbagh, Singhdhar and Marwari areas.
The committee members also visited the Vishnugadh NTPC hydro project to find out if it has any role behind the land subsidence.
The panel members also found erosion in the Alokananda river bank that has led to the land sinking.
An Emeritus scientist at the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), DM Banerjee, blamed the construction of roads and tunnels for a nearby hydroelectric project for the prevailing situation.
Present Ground Situation
Taking stock of the prevailing situation in the popular pilgrimage site, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has given instructions for monitoring all ongoing development works in the area.
He has also directed all possible help to the affected locals and speeding up of all development work in the area.
Chamoli District Magistrate (DM) went door to door in the affected area to assess the extent of damage and urged residents in houses that have developed cracks to move to relief centres.
According to the Chamoli District Disaster Management Authority, 603 buildings in Joshimath town have developed cracks. A total of 68 families have been ‘temporarily’ displaced.
Under the Joshimath city area, 229 rooms have been temporarily identified as habitable, with a capacity estimated at 1271.
The administration has also ordered an urgent evacuation of locals from areas prone to excessive landslides and deemed unsafe, after assessing the risk to life and property.
The ongoing construction under the NTPC’s Tapovan Vishnugad Hydroelectric Project has been stopped with immediate effect, till further orders.
Ho Hare Helang bypass construction work by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has also been suspended with immediate effect, till further orders.
The district administration on Sunday distributed necessary assistance funds for essential household items to the affected families.
Funds have also been distributed to 46 affected families for essential household items at the rate of Rs 5,000 per family.