Want to conduct geophysical survey of Joshimath: Disaster Management dept.


While addressing a press conference on Saturday, Ranjit Kumar Sinha, Secretary of Disaster Management told ANI, “The drainage department has opened tender for drainage plan, and we will take note of where the work has reached.”

He added, “In the cabinet, it was decided that we will work towards the Toe Erosion. We were directed to get a timeline from the officials, and then start work towards shifting the people.” He said four companies have bid for the drainage contract, and the company with the required technical capabilities will be shortlisted.

“Cracks do occur on the houses in hill areas. But, if huge cracks are coming up, then proper action must be taken. We have also directed the same to the authorities,” he said. 

Joshimath, also known as Jyotirmath, is a city and a municipal board in Chamoli District in Uttarakhand. Located at the height of 6150 feet (1875 m), it is a gateway to several Himalayan mountain climbing expeditions, trekking trails, and pilgrim centres like Badrinath. 

Life in the hill town of Joshimath in Uttarakhand has been disrupted in the last few days as residents took to the streets to demand action for the cracks that have developed in their houses.

Here are 10 points you need to know: 

Geologist Dr Sarkar addressed the press conference and said that they want to carry out the geophysical survey in the whole of Joshimath. “The geophysical survey has already started. The collected data will then go for interpretation. It will take some time, as soils have to dig and then sent to laboratories. We want this survey to take place at 10 spots in the whole of Joshimath so that we get better results,” he added.

As per ANI, cracks have surfaced on the ropeway platform in Joshimath. Dinesh Bhatt, Manager of the Ropeway has said, “I have sent the report to higher authorities. Ropeway has been stopped since 5th January due to the situation in Joshimath. This ropeway connects Joshimath and the famous tourist attraction Auli.

In view of the land subsidence incident in Joshimath, the state Cabinet on Friday approved an amount of 45 crore as relief for the affected families. The Cabinet also cleared a proposal to waive the electricity bill of all those affected for six months starting from November 2022, besides approving a proposal for providing employment under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) to two members of each of the affected families.

The report by ISRO, which pointed out that the land in Joshimath sunk 5.4 cm in just 12 days between 27 December and 8 January has gone missing from NRSC-a government-run website. Following ISRO’s report, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had cautioned the government bodies against talking to media. The Uttarakhand government and the NDMA has asked over a dozen government agencies and experts to refrain from talking to media about the Joshimath land subsidence without permission.

Though people, experts have hold the construction of NTPC’s Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project responsible for this plight, the Centre has ruled out correlations with it. According to a report by the Hindustan Times, Livemint’s sister publication, the power ministry has said that the NTPC tunnel does not pass under the town, attributing the ‘sinking’ to natural causes and increased construction activities.

According to the draft letter accessed by HT, it was stated that the tunnel lies some 1.1 km from the outer boundary of Joshimath. Located approximately 1.1 km below the ground level, it was constructed using a tunnel boring machine that causes no disturbance to the surrounding rock mass. However, the power ministry attributed the land subsidence to sub-surface seepage erosion caused by natural drainage, occasional heavy rainfall, periodic seismic activities and increased construction activities.

Selang, a village around 5 km from subsidence-hit Joshimath, is likely to meet a similar fate as cracks and fissures have been appearing in fields and several houses for the past few months, as reported by PTI. Located on Badrinath National Highway (NH-58), residents of Selang said they are scared and the Joshimath crisis has only deepened their fears.

38 more families were evacuated from the affected areas, with this, a total of 223 families have been evacuated so far to safety, Disaster Management Secretary Ranjit Sinha told PTI.

The number of rooms at relief camps has been increased to 615 which can accommodate about 2,190 people, the officials said. The number of houses developing cracks has risen to 782 in Joshimath where areas situated in Gandhinagar, Singdhar, Manohar Bagh and Sunil wards have been declared unsafe.

Half a dozen houses in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat have developed cracks, following which a revenue department team was asked to assess the damage after inspecting the houses, District Magistrate, Baghpat, Rajkamal Yadav told news agency PTI.

(With inputs from agencies)

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