Evacuation begins in the ‘sinking’ Himalayan towntext_fields
New Delhi: Around 47 families have been shifted on Thursday to safer shelters in Uttarakhand’s Joshimath area where land is reportedly sinking, leaving hundreds of houses at risk of collapsing.
Deep cracks along the roads in several places left people panicking for several days as authorities remain clueless about the phenomenon.
Rescue and relief operations carried out by district authorities had families, who were previously reluctant to leave their cracked up homes, shifted to shelters.
Sitting at an altitude of 6,000 feet in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district, Joshimath is in the high-risk seismic ‘Zone-V’ on the route to Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib Falls.
An expert team reporting to the Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami linked phenomenon to the land subsidence in the Himalayan town.
Pushkar Singh Dhami said the situation is being closely monitored and promised to visit the area to personally assess the situation, according to India Today.
Since the strange incident began appearing in the town, a total of 561 houses developed cracks.
Of the houses that developed cracks, 153 are in Ravigram, 127 in Gandhinagar, 71 in Manoharbagh, 52 in Singhdhar, 50 in Parsari, 29 in Upper Bazar, 27 in Suneel, 28 in Marwadi and 24 in Lower Bazar, District Disaster Management Officer NK Joshi reportedly said.
As fear gripped the area, locals have been protesting since the cracks began to show on the roads and houses.
On Wednesday night, several people marched down the streets here with torches in their hands alleging that an energy project underway in the area contributed to the natural disaster.
Protests continued on Thursday prompting authorities to start evacuation of affected families, while protesters accused authorities of “idle administration”.
People are demanding to immediately halt construction of an NTPC tunnel and a bypass road between Helang and Marwadi for Badrinath.
Town’s administration on Thursday banned on all construction activities in and around the "sinking" town.
Meanwhile, The NTPC and the Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) have also been asked to build 2,000 pre-fabricated houses for the affected families, according to the report.