Joshimath declared ‘disaster-prone’ area as more houses in holy town of Uttarakhand develop cracks | India News

Chamoli: The Chamoli District Administration has declared the Joshimath area of Uttarakhand as “disaster-prone” with increasing land subsidence and cracks being detected on more than 600 houses. Confirming the development, Chamoli District Magistrate Himanshu Khurana informed that two central teams, including one from the Union Jal Shakti ministry, will arrive in the holy town shortly. “The Joshimath area has been declared disaster-prone. Two teams from the central government, including a team from the Jal Shakti ministry, are arriving here. Construction activities have been banned in Joshimath and nearby areas. Dry ration kits are being distributed to the affected people,” the Chamoli DM said.



Earlier on Monday, the district administration said basic facilities at relief camps set up for the affected people were being constantly inspected. “Basic facilities in the relief camps arranged for the affected people in Joshimath are being constantly inspected by the administration and all possible help is being extended to the affected people,” DM Khurana said.

State’s CM Pushkar Singh Dhami has once again assured all possible help to people in Joshimath. “We’ve appealed to everyone to work as a team & save #Joshimath. (People of) 68 houses that were in danger have been shifted. A zone of over 600 houses has formed & efforts are underway to shift them. PM is also monitoring it & has assured all possible help,” the Uttarakhand CM said.



More houses develop cracks in Joshimath

Khurana said immediate inspection will be conducted by the administration if a need arises. According to the Chamoli District Disaster Management Authority, 603 buildings in Joshimath town have developed cracks so far.

A total of 68 families have been `temporarily` displaced, officials said. “Under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, Hotel Mount View and Malari Inn have been banned for operation and accommodation, until further orders,” the Chamoli District Disaster Management Authority said in a statement.

In the Joshimath city area, 229 rooms have been temporarily identified as habitable, with the capacity estimated at 1271.The administration has also ordered an immediate evacuation of residents from areas prone to excessive landslides and deemed unsafe, after considering the risk to life and property, under sections 33 and 34 of the Disaster Management Act.

“The work of identifying the places affected by landslides is in progress and the vulnerable families are being temporarily shifted to safer places,” the official said.

The ongoing construction work 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 banned with immediate effect, till further orders.

“A ban has also been imposed on construction works being undertaken by the Joshimath Municipality, till further orders,” it stated. The district administration on Sunday distributed necessary assistance funds for essential household items to the affected families.

While the cause of the apparent subsidence in the holy town is unclear, an Emeritus scientist at the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), DM Banerjee, blamed the prevailing situation on the construction of roads and tunnels for a nearby hydroelectric project.

A lawyer mentions the issue of sinking of Joshimath in Uttarakhand, Supreme Court asks him to mention the matter tomorrow. 

The plea was filed by Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati, seeking immediate intervention of the top court to provide urgent relief to people of Joshimath.

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