Sinking town: More families rescued in Joshimath, PM takes stock
A few hotels, a gurdwara and two inter-colleges have been acquired to serve as makeshift shelters that can accommodate around 1,500 people in the sinking town.
Published: 08th January 2023 06:32 PM | Last Updated: 09th January 2023 07:08 PM | A+A A-
DEHRADUN/NEW DELHI: With the government declaring Joshimath a subsidence-hit zone, rescue and relief work picked up pace with the shifting of 13 more families from damaged houses even as scientists sought to understand the water signature of the region to figure out the actual cause of the land sink.
A strip of land around 350 metres wide has been affected by the subsidence. In all, 68 families have been shifted from damaged houses so far. The district administration is working with the rest of the affected families to evacuate and relocate them to safer places.
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One team of the National Disaster Response Force and four teams of the State Disaster Response Force have reached Joshimath for deployment. Going by the recommendations of an expert committee, the government decided to demolish all damaged buildings, including Army and Indo-Tibetian Border Police colonies.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on the situation in Joshimath and Karnprayag and assured all possible help. Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister P K Mishra held a high-level online review meeting with top bureaucrats and experts to address the situation. Short, medium and long-term plans are being chalked out to check land subsidence in future.
Scientists have collected samples of water at Joshimath, the NTPC’s Tapovan tunnel and a couple of other places to ascertain their pH value, which is a measure of how acidic or basic the water is. Dr Gopal Krishna, a scientist at the National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee, said, “The pH value and isotopes of the four samples help figure out if there is any similarity between the water from the tunnel and that in the damaged houses in Joshimath.”
Experts were surprised to see water leaking into Joshimath, nestled amid green valleys under the tunnel. The leak is at the origin of the Rishiganga river outside the tunnel, about 18 km from Joshimath.
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