Days after residents’ protest over gradual “sinking" of Joshimath, a team of experts on Tuesday conducted an on-the-spot inspection of the town in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand.
The move comes following reports that Joshimath, considered as the gateway to Badrinath, is “sinking" with many of its houses, shops and hotels developing cracks.
The five-member team comprising senior officials, geological experts and engineers inspected the buildings which have developed cracks, spoke to the affected people and gave its feedback to the district administration, officials said.
Chamoli District Magistrate Himanshu Khurana sent the team to Joshimath, they said, adding that he directed the officials to initiate protective works immediately after consulting a structural engineer.
Khurana also asked them to prepare a drainage plan for Joshimath, district information officer Ravindra Negi said.
The DM also asked the authorities to make proposals under the Disaster Mitigation Plan for the construction of a protection wall for the prevention of erosion from the Alaknanda river between Marwari bridge and Vishnuprayag on the foothills of Joshimath.
The expert team consisted of Nagar Palika chairman Shailendra Panwar, SDM Kumkum Joshi, geological expert Deepak Hatwal, executive engineer (irrigation) Anoop Kumar Dimri and district disaster management officer N K Joshi.
On December 24, people affected by the gradual “sinking" of Joshimath took out a protest march in the town, accusing the administration of not taking any corrective steps.
According to a survey conducted by the municipality of Joshimath, cracks have appeared in over 500 houses in the town over a year rendering them inhabitable.
Reportedly, an expert panel set up by the Uttarakhand government found that several pockets of Joshimath are “sinking" due to man-made and natural factors.
The panel found that ground subsidence – a gradual settling or sudden sinking of the earth’s surface due to removal or displacement of subsurface materials – has induced structural defects and damage observed in almost all wards of Joshimath, according to reports.
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