As time goes on, more and more cracks are being noticed in the houses and streets of Joshimath. Someone is wailing in front of the cracked house, “Any moment our house will collapse. Where shall we go?” Someone is saying, “For so many years, various governments have been told that danger is coming. Now I can collapse at any moment.” Such pictures are circulating in the social media platforms.
Experts say, the ancient city of Joshimath is sinking into the mountain. The deadly disease that has gripped the city’s body has been visible for the past few years. Cracks were emerging in Joshimath’s houses, land and roads. The situation has turned dire in the last 15 days. An abandoned temple was reported to have collapsed on Friday night. After that, many did not dare to stay at home. They spent the last night under the open sky in severe winter. As of Saturday, at least 603 houses have seen cracks, the administration said.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami visited the city last Saturday to check the situation in Joshimath. Somewhere the bereaved residents burst into tears hugging him. The Chief Minister is seen somewhere reassuring the panicked family members. Dhami asked, “The geologists are trying to investigate the reason behind the sinking of Joshimath. But saving the lives of local residents is our main duty.” He ordered to keep helicopters ready for emergency situations.
Uttarakhand CM’s stance
The Chief Minister said that the expert team comprising geologists from Guwahati and Roorkee IITs has been made. There is talk of adding ISRO scientists to this team.
According to the 2011 census, at least 3800 families live in Joshimath. Among them, the administration has ordered to evacuate the residents of 603 houses with cracks to safe places. 65 families have already been resettled. It has been informed that house rent of Rs 4000 per month will be provided for the next 6 months from the Chief Minister’s relief fund for the families who lost their homes.
A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court to declare the situation in Joshimath as a national disaster. Along with this, the central disaster response force has been sent to evacuate the locals quickly.
Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib have to be reached by touching this town in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district. That road is also now under the danger zone. Scientists are amazed that a small earthquake can cause huge damage. The Joshimath-Malari road, which leads to the India-China border, has also suffered cracks at several places.
In 1976, a joint committee made up of army, administration, ITBP officials and experts carried out a survey and said that Joshimath’s lifespan was 100 years. But no one could have predicted the danger that would come within 50 years of that warning. Kalachand Sai, Director of Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, said that Joshimath is sinking today because of natural locational factors and heavy construction work without warning. Director Sai’s suggestion, if the city is to be saved, a new drainage plan is necessary.