New Delhi: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Saturday conducted a ground inspection in Joshimath and met the affected families. He said the state government is contemplating if people need to be migrated and rehabilitated, a location for the same is to be chosen.

Earlier in the day, he conducted an aerial survey of the town.

This comes as a key Joshimath-Malari border road, connecting the India-China border, developed cracks at several places due to landslides in Joshimath, news agency ANI reported. Strategically important Joshimath-Malari border road is subsiding near the Malari taxi stand.

“Our effort is to make everyone safe. Preparations were made for necessary arrangements. Our first task is to take people to safer areas. Geoscientists are working. There’s Guwahati institute, IIT Roorkee, also in talks with ISRO. Everyone finding out causes,” CM Dhami told ANI.

He further informed, “We are also contemplating if people need to be migrated from here and rehabilitated. We are also finding out a location for this. As of now, this is the winter season. So, we are looking into the issues that need to be addressed immediately.”

Previously, the Uttarakhand Chief Minister ordered an immediate evacuation of around 600 families living in houses that have developed huge cracks and are at risk in Joshimath town which is sinking.

“Saving lives is our first priority. Officials have been asked to shift around 600 families living in endangered houses in Joshimath to safe locations,” Dhami said on Friday after reviewing the situation in the sinking town with officials via video conference, as quoted by news agency PTI.

“We are also working on short and long-term plans to address the situation in Joshimath,” he said.

Joshimath Sinking: Key Updates

  • Garhwal Commissioner Sushil Kumar and secretary, disaster management, Ranjit Kumar Sinha along with a team of experts are camping on the ground to constantly monitor the situation, informed CM Pushkar Dhami on Friday.
  • A temple collapsed in the Singdhar ward of Uttarakhand’s Joshimath on Friday evening, causing more alarm for residents living under constant fear of a major disaster in the offing. There was no one inside the temple when the incident occurred, news agency PTI reported local residents as saying. The structure was abandoned after it developed huge cracks over the past 15 days. 
  • All construction activities related to mega projects like the Chardham all-weather road (Helang- Marwari bypass) and the NTPC’s hydel project were stopped till further orders on the demand of residents.
  • The central government on Friday set up a panel to conduct a “rapid study” of the land subsidence and its impact in Joshimath. An office memorandum issued by the Ministry of Jal Shakti said the panel comprising representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Central Water Commission, Geological Survey of India, and National Mission for Clean Ganga among others will conduct a “rapid study and examine the cause of the occurrence and its impact or key impact” and submit a report to the NMCG within three days.

    The committee, among other things, will cover the effects of the sinking of land on human settlements, buildings, highways, infrastructure, and riverine systems.

  • Marwari area where an aquifer burst three days ago is the worst hit. As per PTI, many houses there were damaged in varying degrees while water from the aquifer is constantly flowing down with great force.

Located at an altitude of 6,000 feet in Chamoli district, the town of Joshimath, which is situated on the route to Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib, falls in high-risk seismic ‘Zone-V’.

As per PTI, former president of the local municipality Rishi Prasad Sati said that land subsidence has been happening for more than a year but the problem aggravated over the past fortnight.

(With Agency Inputs)

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