Declare Joshimath crisis as 'national disaster': Congress

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera questioned why it took so long for the Centre to take cognisance of the crisis

Declare Joshimath crisis as 'national disaster': Congress

NH National Bureau

Hitting out at the BJP government in Uttarakhand for ignoring the “brewing crisis in Joshimath” Congress on Monday demanded that the crisis be declared a "national disaster".

Addressing media at AICC headquarters in Delhi, Congress spokesperson, Pawan Khera questioned why it took so long for the Centre to take cognizance of the crisis.

Cracks started appearing in November 2021, but the BJP ignored the issue, said Khera. “What was Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami doing from January 3 and why did it take him till January 7 to reach the in-crisis town?” asked Khera.

Referring to the Mishra Committee report, prepared by the MC Mishra in 1970s, the then collector of Garhwal, Khera alleged that the BJP governments, both at the state and at the Centre, ignored the crisis.

Increased construction activity and growing population contributed to frequent landslides in the area, the Mishra Committee Report had pointed out.

“Joshimath is a deposit of sand and stone – it is not the main rock – hence it was not suitable for a township. Vibrations produced by blasting, heavy traffic, etc., will lead to a disequilibrium in natural factors…” states the report.

Saying that fear is festering among the people of Joshimath while the BJP govt is busy in "managing headlines", Khera took a dig at PM Modi and Uttarakhand CM Dhami.

Meanwhile, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said that all construction activities in the area should be stopped. He demanded victims should be given compensation from the PM CARES Fund.

Former Uttarakhand CM and senior Congress leader Harish Rawat demanded construction of the bypass road to be stopped and mindless cutting of the trees in the area should be prevented at once.

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