Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Wednesday visited the subsidence-hit Joshimath town in the state and announced an interim assistance for the affected people who are demanding compensation on the lines of Badrinath.
Speaking to media persons on his arrival in Joshimath, Dhami said, “We stand with the people of Joshimath. The prime minister is personally monitoring the situation. I have his full support. Their (affected people) interest will be taken care of."
The chief minister also said that compensation will be given in accordance with the market rate, which will be ascertained after taking all the stakeholders into confidence, according to the news agency PTI.
An interim assistance of ₹1.5 lakh is being given to the affected people and details of relief and rehabilitation are being worked out, he added.
A 19-member committee, headed by Chamoli District Magistrate Himanshu Khurana, has also been formed for the distribution of the package amount among the affected families and ascertaining the rate of a rehabilitation package.
"Such an impression should not be created. We are going to have the international winter games in Auli in February. The Char Dham Yatra will also begin in a few months. This kind of wrong impression should not be created," he said as quoted by PTI.
He further asserted that there should be a "balance between ecology and economy" wherever development work is being carried out.
Meanwhile, protests continued in the town and so did the evacuation of the affected families, with 18 more shifted to temporary relief centres. A total of 145 families have so far been evacuated from the danger zone in Joshimath, the Disaster Management Authority in Chamoli said. More than 700 houses have been declared unsafe.
Two hotels adjacent to each other -- the seven-storied Malari Inn and the five-storied Mount View -- stand precariously in the subsidence zone, posing a threat to more than a dozen houses.
Preparations to demolish the structures mechanically with the help of the Roorkee-based Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), which carried out the demolition of Noida's twin towers, had begun on Tuesday itself but the exercise hit a hurdle when the owners of the two hotels, supported by locals, sat on a protest.
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