Joshimath Sinking Live Updates: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Saturday said the state government is contemplating if people need to be migrated and rehabilitated from Joshimath, a location for the same is to be chosen. The statement came as he conducted a ground inspection in the town and met the affected families, following an aerial survey.
“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 news agency 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.”
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.
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.
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.
Strong resentment prevails among people here against the government for the indifference with which it treated the warnings about the dangerous situation of buildings in the Himalayan town due to heavy construction activities going on around it.
They hold the NTPC’s Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project mainly responsible for the situation.
“We have been drawing the attention of authorities for the past 14 months. But we were not heeded. Now when the situation is getting out of hand, they are sending expert teams to assess things,” Joshimath Bachao Sangharsh Samiti convenor Atul Sati said, as per PTI.
“If attention was paid in time to what we were saying things would not have been so alarming in Joshimath,” he added.
Land subsidence had made the houses of 14 families insecure in November 2021 itself, Sati recalls.
He said that people held a demonstration following this at the tehsil office on November 16, 2021, demanding rehabilitation and handed a memorandum to the SDM who acknowledged that even the tehsil office premises had developed cracks .
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’.
(With Agency Inputs)