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In “Sinking” Joshimath, 4,000 people were evacuated after a satellite survey



More than 600 structures in Joshimath have developed cracks or are partially destroyed

New Delhi:

Six hundred houses in the “sunken” town of Joshimath in Uttarakhand were evacuated following a satellite survey. “As of now, we know that 600 homes have been evacuated. And about 4,000 people have been moved to safer areas,” a senior Interior Ministry official told NDTV.

The official said some cracks were also noted in the lower part of the Army and ITBP facilities but that appropriate protective measures were in place.

Meanwhile, a senior central team led by the secretary, Dr. Border Management, Dr. Dharmendra Singh Gangwar arrived in Dehradun and met with Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. “Surveys are being conducted by the NDRF and local authorities to get the exact numbers,” a senior Interior Ministry official explained.

It appears that 30% of Joshimath is affected, he added. “A report is being compiled by a committee of experts and it will be submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office.”

The district government had previously marked more than 200 houses in the sinking town with a red cross that was not safe to live in. It requires their occupants to move to temporary relief centers or rent accommodation where each family will receive support of Rs 4,000 per month for the next six months from the state government.

Staff from the National Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Response Force were deployed to rescue and relief efforts in the town.

More than 600 structures in Joshimath – the gateway to Badrinath and Hemkunt Sahib – have cracked or are partially destroyed. The sacred town has been divided into three zones – ‘Danger’, ‘Buffer Zone’ and ‘Completely Safe’ – based on the level of possible danger.

Experts blame unplanned infrastructure development, including hydroelectric projects, for the alarming situation. Many people have pointed to the hydropower project of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) in this connection. The NTPC has denied these allegations. In an official statement, they said the NTPC tunnel does not go below the town and no blasting work is being carried out at the site at this time.

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