That sinking feeling: Joshimath fears mount as clouds hover over Uttarakhand

Government should come out with a detailed report in the form of a white paper on displacement and rehabilitation,” Sati added.
That sinking feeling: Joshimath fears mount as clouds hover over Uttarakhand

DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand’s Joshimath town, where buildings developed cracks due to land subsidence early last year, is facing threats as monsoon is set to arrive. The fissures that emerged on the ground remain untreated, raising concerns for the safety of the area.

“The impending arrival of the second monsoon following the land disaster underscores the urgent need for concrete measures to ensure the stability of the mountain,” said Atul Sati, convener of the Joshimath Bachao Sangharsh Samiti.

“One of our major demands was that stabilisation work be done in Joshimath first. Areas where the ground has sunk by one foot to five feet can be saved by building a security wall around them,” he said. “While 292 people have got compensation, the number of those affected has grown to more than 1,200. Government should come out with a detailed report in the form of a white paper on displacement and rehabilitation,” Sati added.

Ajay Chaurasia, a scientist who conducted a survey of over 2300 buildings in Joshimath, said, “There are 14 specific areas in Joshimath where approximately 800 structurally compromised buildings fall under the red category. These structures will necessitate demolition and complete removal of debris to alleviate the burden on the mountains.”

State Health Minister Dhan Singh Rawat, also minister in charge of Chamoli district, is camping in Joshimath. He said, “Joshimath SDM has been instructed to immediately improve the arrangement for water drainage in Manohar Bagh and other affected areas.”

BJP nagar mandal secretary Jai Prakash Bhatt said the minister has assured prompt repairs to be carried out before the onset of the monsoon.

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