Joshimath: Five things you should know about the crisis
About 4000 people have been rescued; hotels, buildings are being demolished
Those houses, hotels and buildings that have developed cracks will be demolished as part of the rescue operation in Joshimath – the sinking town of Uttarakhand today.
An expert committee constituted by the Centre has advised that these structures must be demolished after examining the situation on the ground.
Given the developments in the crisis, here are five things you should know about the crisis itself as well as the rescue operation being undertaken:
1. The demolition is being carried out under the supervision of a team from the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI). A team from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been called in to assist the CBRI.
2. Based on the assessment submitted by the expert panel, Joshimath town has been divided into three zones – Danger Zone, Buffer Zone and Completely Safe Zone. Houses and hotels falling under the Danger Zone and Buffer Zone will be demolished.
3. According to the officials, close to 4000 people have been rescued so far and relocated to safer areas. Officials say that 30 percent of the town has developed cracks. A report is being complied on the same and it will be submitted to the Prime Minister.
4. Residents claim that they wrote to the authorities including Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami about the impact of the blasts in the tunnels of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) project on their homes, but everybody ignored them. NTPC, however, has denied any links between its project and the crisis in Joshimath.
5. Uttarakhand State Disaster Management Authority (USDMA) has said that the loosening of the soil is responsible for the crisis. However, experts say that population, unplanned development, as well as uncurbed tourism have destroyed the entire ecosystem in Joshimath, which is called the "winter seat" of Lord Badrinath as Lord Badrinath's idol gets shifted to the Vasudeva temple in the town each winter.