Joshimath Sinking; Geologists Hold Construction, Lack of Drainage Responsible

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Edited By: Pathikrit Sen Gupta

Last Updated: January 06, 2023, 08:00 IST

The terrified and agitated residents staged protests in the town. Pic/News18

The terrified and agitated residents staged protests within the city. Pic/News18

Chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami stated the federal government will present help to the affected households. He has known as a high-level assembly of officers on Friday to attract out a broader plan to cope with the continued state of affairs

The residents of Joshimath in Uttarakhand, 290 km from Dehradun, reside in fixed worry after cracks on the bottom widened in every single place within the sleepy city. Cracks are seen on barren land, homes, temples, and the checklist goes on. A group of state authorities officers together with members from the state catastrophe and mitigation authority reached Joshimath on Thursday to take inventory of the state of affairs.

Chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami stated the federal government will present help to the affected households. He has known as a high-level assembly of the officers on Friday to attract out a broader plan to cope with the continued state of affairs.

Initially, there have been solely cracks and now water is oozing out of them, leaving locals perplexed. The terrified and agitated residents staged protests within the city.

“Joshimath has been witnessing landslides for more than a year and so far the response of the authorities has been sluggish,” alleged Atul Sati, convener of Save Joshimath Committee.

As a matter of reality, a complete of 560 constructions have witnessed cracks in the previous couple of days. Meanwhile, as a precautionary measure, the ropeway service to winter sports activities vacation spot Auli has been discontinued.

“Besides, work has been halted at the NTPC hydropower project. The locals who are affected have been shifted to the safer place,” stated Deepak Saini, joint Justice of the Peace, Joshimath.

Cracks not new

Interestingly, Joshimath city located at an altitude of 6,000 toes from the ocean stage has been “sinking” since the 1970s. In 1976, the Mishra Committee was constituted which strongly recommended a ban on construction activities. The report said the town is located on the “glacial moraine” and hence not feasible for the construction of buildings. Besides, the committee also laid stress on a mass plantation drive in a bid to strengthen the sinking land.

Last year in September, Uttarakhand State Disaster Management Authority (USDMA) highlighted two major points in its report after locals complained about cracks in the residential structures. The report mentioned the town has no drainage facility therefore “water be not allowed to seep in and pore-pressure be maintained within threshold limits”. USDMA additional really helpful curbing building and added, wherever obligatory, the development needs to be carried out as per the nationwide constructing code.

It is pertinent to say Joshimath has significance from tourism as nicely from a spiritual level of view. The city is the winter seat of the revered Badrinath shrine, a strategic station for armed forces manning the India-China border. The city connects Badrinath shrine, Auli winter resort, Valley of Flowers, and the revered Sikh shrine, Hemkund Sahib.

The city receives vacationers in large numbers throughout the busy summer season months. A big quantity of motels and guesthouses have been erected in the previous couple of years to cater to vacationers at the same time as an preliminary report within the 1970s really helpful a full cease on building.

Hydropower initiatives added to issues

Joshimath is located on the confluence of two rivers – Alaknanda and Dhauliganga. The 440 MW JP Power hydropower undertaking on Alaknanda is already commissioned. In reality, the cracks and water leakage had been additionally reported from the undertaking’s residential colony. The second undertaking which geologists time period “dangerous” is the 520 MW Tapovan-Vishnugad NTPC power project on the upstream river.

“We still remember the February 2021 floods that created havoc in the Dhauliganga river. The flood played a catalyst in landslides and land-sinking incidents in Joshimath,” stated Dr SP Sati, a geologist.

Dr DP Dobhal, a retired geologist from Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, said the 12-km-long tunnel of the NTPC project on the Dhauliganga river passing under the Joshimath town probably led to geological changes.

Eight kilometres of the 12-km-long tunnel have already been constructed and owing to the current situation the remaining work has been stopped.

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