Uttarakhand's Joshimath ‘gradually sinking’? Families evacuated | Top points
Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Dhami will on Friday hold a high-level meeting in Dehradun with senior officials to take stock of the situation.
Panic ensued in Joshimath, a holy town of Uttarakhand. after residents observed cracks on roads and houses, in what they described as a ‘gradual sinking’ of the town. Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Dhami will on Friday hold a high-level meeting in Dehradun with senior officials of disaster, irrigation and home departments of the government, along with Garhwal Mandal commissioner and the Chamoli district magistrate, to take stock of the situation.
Here are the top developments on Joshimath land subsidence issue:
1. Located at 6,000 feet in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district, on the route to Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib, Joshimath falls in high-risk seismic 'Zone-V' and witnesses frequent earthquakes. Many people have already left the town fearing a sinkage.
2. Although the degree of damage to the houses differs, the slow landslide has affected more than 3,000 people in the area. At least 66 families have migrated from Joshimath as per the reports till Thursday evening, while others were also being evacuated and moved to safer zones.
3. The locations where they have been shifted to include the Nagar Palika Bhawan, a primary school building, the Milan Kendra and the Joshimath Gurudwara, district disaster management officer NK Joshi told news agency PTI.
4. Meanwhile, the Chamoli district administration has directed officials of Hindustan Construction Company Ltd (HCC) and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to build 2,000 prefabricated houses to shelter each family migrating from the Himalayan town.
5. The Pushkar Dhami-led government has formed a team of scientists to find out the reason behind the land subsidence and the resultant damage reported to the houses. Engineers from the Geological Survey of India, Wadia Institute and IIT Roorkee, included in the team, have been tasked to go to the spot and investigate the landslides and cracks.
6. Scores of people in Joshimath took to the streets flaming torches on Wednesday night to highlight cracks developing in houses. Others blocked Badrinath highway announcing a ‘chakka jam’ this morning amid the vertical sinking of the land in the area.
7. Dhami said he would be visiting Joshimath soon and take the necessary steps. “I will be visiting Joshimath in the coming days and initiate steps to handle the situation. I have had a word with the Municipal Corporation chairman Shailendra Pawar to monitor the condition in the district,” he said earlier today.
8. Joshimath is considered the gateway for many climbing expeditions, trekking trails and pilgrim centres in the Himalayas. It is also a base station for travellers heading to Badrinath, Guru Gobind Ghat or the Valley of Flowers.
9. The spiritual town is also home to the Jyotirmath Hindu monastery, one of the four cardinal institutions established by 8th-century Vedic scholar Adi Shankara.
10. The Joshimath cantonment is among the closest military stations to the Indo-Tibetan border and was also used as a refugee camp for the victims of the 2013 Kedarnath floods.