Joshimath crisis: Technical survey of houses to be demolished in JP Colony begins

A majority of houses in the colony are single-storey buildings with roofs made of tin sheets

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PTI

As the crisis in subsidence-hit Joshimath in Uttarakhand deepens, the Chamoli district administration on Tuesday began a technical survey of the damaged buildings situated in JP Colony for the demolition exercise.

A majority of houses in the colony, which is located in one of the worst-hit Marwari area of Joshimath, are single-storey buildings with roofs made of tin sheets.

"A survey of damaged buildings of JP colony has begun after which a formal order to dismantle them will be issued," Chamoli District Magistrate Himanshu Khurana said.

"A technical team is on the spot to conduct the survey. When it will submit its report, the order to demolish the unsafe buildings in the colony will be issued," he said.

JP Colony houses employees of Vishnu Prayag hydro-electricity project and the residential buildings here are made of light construction material, and their dismantling may not take long, an engineer engaged in the survey said on request of anonymity.


The colony was vacated on January 3 after an underground water channel burst on January 2.

The Uttarakhand government had on Monday decided to mechanically demolish all such buildings in JP Colony whose retrofitting was not possible.

Ranjit Kumar Sinha, secretary, Disaster Management had said cracks on some of the buildings in Joshimath have widened by 1 to 2 millimetres, but they are old fissures not new.


"The area from Hathi Pahad to JP Colony and the Alaknanda river is the most affected by land subsidence as there is pressure underneath the ground," he said.

The senior official said the decision to dismantle the already damaged buildings and infrastructure in the colony is part of a strategy to ease the burden on the affected area.

He also clarified that the cracks on the ground are being filled not to hide them, but to ensure that rainwater does not percolate through them to further weaken the foundation of the town.

However, water flowing constantly from an underground channel burst near JP Colony on January 2 has ebbed from 540 LPM in the beginning to 163 LPM now.

Joshimath, the gateway to famous pilgrimage sites like Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib and international skiing destination Auli, appears on the edge of a precipice with gaping cracks appearing on buildings, roads and public facilities. The state government is facing an uphill task providing relief and rehabilitating the affected families in the brutal winter.

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