Uttarakhand govt announces first relocations from Joshimath | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Uttarakhand govt announces first relocations from Joshimath

By, Mussoorie
Jan 19, 2023 12:32 AM IST

The Uttarakhand government will rehabilitate over 120 families of Joshimath town to Pipalkoti, nearly 36 km away, in Chamoli district as part of the first phase of its plan to help the affected residents in the subsidence-hit town.

The Uttarakhand government will rehabilitate over 120 families of Joshimath town to Pipalkoti, nearly 36 km away, in Chamoli district as part of the first phase of its plan to help the affected residents in the subsidence-hit town.

Women carry firewood on their back on a road, at a land subsidence affected area in Joshimath. (PTI)
Women carry firewood on their back on a road, at a land subsidence affected area in Joshimath. (PTI)

According to state disaster management secretary Ranjit Sinha, Pipalkoti is among four sites identified by the Chamoli district administration to rehabilitate the affected residents in Joshimath. The other sites are nearby villages Dhak and Gaunk Selang, and a horticulture land in Joshimath away from the affected areas.

“We have identified four sites for rehabilitation. In the first phase, Pipalkoti, located at an altitude of 1,260 metres above sea level, has been found appropriate for rehabilitation in about two hectares of land there,” Sinha said.

“We will not be able to settle all the families there (in Pipalkoti) but around 120 to 125 families can be accommodated. The process of identifying other sites is also going on as we would require rehabilitating the remaining affected people,” he added.

Singh said that currently, the affected people are staying in relief camps, hotels and homestays. The state government is planning to set up transitional settlements (till the affected are rehabilitated) by construction of prefabricated (structures which can be dismantled later) houses at the horticulture land near TCP in Joshimath, he added.

“It has also been decided that three models of prefabricated structures will be constructed initially and later, more such structures will be constructed for the affected people. The agency assigned to make prefabricated structures has reached Joshimath and has begun the work,” Sinha said.

At least 849 buildings in the hill town had developed cracks, as of Wednesday. The district administration has put red crosses on more than 180 houses in the sinking town, asking the occupants to either shift to the temporary relief centres or into a rented accommodation for which each family will get assistance of 4,000 per month for the next six months from the state government.

At least eight more families were shifted to relief camps on Wednesday, taking the total number of displaced families to 258.

The four sites for rehabilitation were identified on the basis of a land survey by the district administration. The Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee, will identify the building layouts in these locations, officials said.

“The process to identify more land for permanent settlement is on and the decision will be taken on the basis of a report by the Geological Survey of India,” Sinha said.

The Joshimath Bachao Sangharsh Samiti and local residents opposed the government’s plan, seeking rehabilitation closer to the religious town for better climate and livelihood.

“More than 90 per cent of the residents are not in favour of settling in Pipalkoti. We have suggested land near Auli and Koti Farm which is appropriate for permanent settlement,” samiti convener Atul Sati said.

Sunita Devi, a local resident whose house has developed several cracks, said: “We are used to the climate of Joshimath and it would be difficult for us to settle in warmer areas. The government should give us land near Joshimath, we will not go anywhere else.”

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