Jan 10, 2023, 11:56 am
Supreme Court has today declined an urgent hearing on Joshimath case. The apex court has fixed January 16 for next hearing.
Experts had already warned for decades that Joshimath is not capable to handle the construction activities that had been increasing over the years.
Joshimath, a popular tourist destination in Uttarakhand and a place of strategic importance to the Indian Army, is on the verge of sinking completely. Built on an ancient landslide site, Joshimath always had low bearing capacity. Decades of construction work and an explosion of population only led to further damage. Now, 600 families have been evacuated from the sinking place as cracks developed in 500 houses in the area.
Hydroelectric projects and the expansion of the Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway (NH-7) have made the slopes in Joshimath unsteady. Soil erosion due to running streams from Vishnuprayag and sliding along the natural streams have also contributed to the declining state of affairs in the town. Experts have warned for decades that the town is not capable to handle the construction activities that have only increased over the years.
What is the action?
Buildings that have developed cracks and are badly damaged in Uttarakhand's Joshimath will be demolished from today to protect adjoining buildings.
Joshimath has been divided into three zones, 'Danger', 'Buffer', and 'Completely Safe', based on the magnitude of danger from land subsidence or the sinking or settling of the ground surface.
A total of 678 buildings in 'sinking Joshimath' have developed cracks, officials said. The ones that are most damaged will be demolished.
Besides several houses in the danger zone, two hotels - Mount View and Malari Inn - which are leaning towards each other will also be brought down.
The 'sinking' town has been declared a disaster-prone zone and construction activities have been banned in Joshimath and nearby areas.
About 4,000 people have been shifted to safer areas."Basic facilities in the relief camps arranged for the affected people in Joshimath are being constantly inspected by the administration and all possible help is being extended to the affected people," said Chamoli district magistrate Himanshu Khurana.