Joshimath: Illegal drilling activity seen at 2 AM
At 2 am early Wednesday, an NDTV team caught on camera stone-crushing and drilling in the mountains outside Joshimath
At Uttarakhand's Joshimath, which has been given the moniker of "the sinking town" due to the cracks that have developed in over 700 houses, banned drilling activity has resumed, reports NDTV.
At 2 am early Wednesday, an NDTV team caught on camera stone-crushing and drilling in the mountains outside Joshimath, near the highway that connects the area to the holy town of Badrinath.
Cranes were seen carrying stones from the spot after the stone-crushing was complete. NDTV also reports that the noise from the drilling could be heard for over a kilometre but there was no one to stop the workers.
The Chamoli administration on 5th January had put a ban on all construction activities in and around the "sinking" town.
The town observed a bandh to protest against administrative indifference to the plight of residents and the "NTPC projects which have led to its gradual sinking."
People descended on the streets shouting slogans against an "idle administration" and staged a chakka jam while the business establishments remained closed, Joshimath Bachao Sangharsh Samiti convenor Atul Sati said.
The demands include immediate rehabilitation of residents, stopping construction of an NTPC tunnel and a bypass road between Helang and Marwadi for Badrinath and fixing responsibility of this disaster on the NTPC's Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project, he said.
The district administration subsequently put a ban on the construction of Helang bypass by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), work of the Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project and other construction work undertaken by the municipality with immediate effect till further orders.
The NTPC and the Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) have also been asked to build 2,000 pre-fabricated houses each in advance for the affected families.
Meanwhile, the administration has started preparing for the demolition of two precariously standing hotels, but has faced protests from their owners and locals on the issue of compensation, while more families are being evacuated from the danger zone