Home / News / India /  Joshimath crisis: No increase in crack-width seen since last 3 days. See top updates here

There has been no indication of increase in the width of the cracks in the last three days in Joshimath, news agency ANI has reported citing Dr Ranjit Kumar Sinha. 

“This is a positive sign," he said.

The gauge meters were installed by the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) to measure the cracks in the buildings in the Joshimath town of Uttarakhand's Chamoli.

While addressing to the media, he said that, "The crack meters installed by CBRI to measure the cracks in the buildings have indicated no increase in the width of the cracks in the last three days. This is a positive sign."

Also Read: Before Joshimath crisis, govt ignored two similar tragedies in adjoining areas

See top updates here

Dr Ranjit Kumar Sinha added that various kinds of work are being done in the disaster-affected Joshimath town. 

He added that, "He (CM Dhami) instructed that the disaster management work should be done with full promptness. He said that there will be no shortage of funds in the works of disaster management in Joshimath. In the meeting, the Urban Development Department was instructed to prepare effective urban town planning in each district. Instructions have also been given for effective arrangement of drainage and sewer system in hill towns."

Kumar said that the Chamoli district administration is carrying out survey work in Joshimath promptly and they are also holding consultations with the displaced. 

According to Sinha, the current discharge of water in Joshimath is 150 LPM. In the temporarily identified relief camps, Joshimath has a total of 615 rooms with a capacity of 2,190 people and Pipalkoti has 491 rooms with a capacity of 2,205 people and so far the cracks have been noticed in 849 buildings.

Chamoli District Magistrate Himanshu Khurana told PTI that the authorities are seeking suggestions for suitable land for permanent relocation of affected families. He said, "We're asking for suggestions and opinions of the affected families regarding rehabilitation. We want their suggestions so that we can carry out the rehabilitation procedures better."

Earlier on 19 January, sources told ANI that almost 35 percent of the affected people of Joshimath are ready to shift to accommodations being offered by the government in Pipalkoti. Officials on condition of anonymity said that the administration took suggestions from around 1000 affected people over a call and sought an opinion if they want a new house in Pipalkoti or seek a lump-sum amount from the government for their relocation. About 40 percent still not taken any firm decision. "In Pipalkoti and Gochar areas, the government will make pre-fab or pucca houses for the affected people. For those whose shops have been affected due to this calamity, roadside shops are being arranged in Pipalkoti itself. Shops would also be set up in the areas where the government intends to build houses," sources said.

Residents, as a part of the rehabilitation, have been moved to safer places even as geologists and experts scramble to ascertain the reasons for subsidence in the ecologically fragile region.

Joshimath, on the Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway (NH 7), is an overnight halt for the people visiting the holy shrines at Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib and tourist destinations Auli, and the Valley of Flowers. 

An NTPC official said that it is wrong to relate the land subsidence in Joshimath with the Tapovan Vishnugad Hydroelectric Project. The official has said that the tunnel is being built under "a competent rock" and it does not affect the surrounding rock mass.

CM Dhami had said on Wednesday that around 65 percent-70 percent of the people in Joshimath are living a normal life, further adding that the Char Dham Yatra will kick off in four months. "65-70 percent of people in Joshimath are living a normal life. In nearby Auli, which is a tourist attraction, everything is going on normally. Tourists are still visiting Auli," Dhami told reporters. Speaking of subsidence, he had said that 25 percent area of the town is affected by land subsidence so far whose population is 25000.

CM had briefed Home Minister Amit Shah regarding the situation in the town and according to the CM, the centre has assured of all possible help for the people of the hill town.

Along with Joshimath, the same phenomenon of land subsidence is also being reported from other areas of Uttarakhand including Uttarkashi, Tehri, Pauri and Karanprayag.

Uttarakhand government has also announced a relief package of 45 crore to families in Joshimath, where large cracks appeared in homes and on roads. CM Dhami has also declared a relief package for nearly 3,000 families affected by gradual land subsidence in the Himalayan state. He also announced that 50,000 had been given by the state disaster authority to each family as a non-adjustable one-time special grant for the transportation of goods and immediate needs of their buildings.

(With inputs from agencies)

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