Uttarakhand, which was hit by the Joshimath subsidence earlier this month amid preparations for the Char Dham Yatra, is slowly limping back to normalcy. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Wednesday said that nearly 70% normalcy has returned to Joshimath.
CM Dhami said that the state is not in as dire a crisis because of the Joshimath subsidence as was being portrayed. He further said that preparations for the Char Dham Yatra was in full swing.
Dhami hit out at the Opposition, saying that leaders should refrain from politicising the issue and help the government in difficult times. “Politicians should refrain from doing politics over the issue and come forward to provide a helping hand to the government in the difficult times,” news agency quoted him as saying.
CM Dhami further said that the government was constantly in touch with various experts and stakeholders to effectively carry out relief and rehabilitation work. He said that several committees have been constituted in Joshimath to evaluate the situation. “We are waiting for the reports and further process will be done on its basis,” he added.
Cracks started developing in hundreds of homes earlier this month as Joshimath saw subsidence over a large area. Several families have been evacuated. Many were instructed to move into temporary relief centres or rent housing, for which the state government would provide each family with assistance of Rs 4000 per month for six months.
The holy town with a population of around 20,000 has been declared disaster-prone by the local authorities.
According to reports, the holy town of Joshimath came was built on an ancient landslide site. With growing urbanisation, more stress was put on this small Himalayan town. Researchers claimed that urbanisation has historically worsened the condition of the city since it disturbs natural water drainage, undercuts slopes, and results in an uncontrolled discharge of water.
Excessive construction is one of the major reasons behind large-scale landslides in the region. CSIR chief scientist DP Kanungo stated that between 2009 and 2012, as many as 128 landslides were recorded in the Chamoli-Joshimath region.