PMO to have a high-level meeting on the Joshimath problem; officials from Uttarakhand will attend
A high-level conference has been scheduled for this afternoon to discuss the events in Joshimath, Uttarakhand, which is sinking rapidly.
A high-level review meeting would be held with the cabinet secretary, key government officials, and members of the National Disaster Management Authority, according to PK Mishra, the prime minister’s principal secretary.
Joshimath district officials and senior Uttarakhand bureaucrats will join the meeting through video conference.
The government of Uttarakhand has in the meantime given Chamoli an additional Rs 11 crore for security and rescue efforts. Joshimath is the entry point to well-known pilgrimage destinations like Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib, and it is renowned for being the location where Adi Guru Shankaracharya underwent penance many years ago. A commission has been assembled by the national government to perform a “quick study” on the incidence of land subsidence and its effects on Joshimath.
Joshimath, which serves as a gateway to Badrinath, Hemkund Sahib, and the popular international ski resort of Auli, is thought to be on the verge of collapse. As buildings and concrete in the town are fast reporting incidences of cracks, fissures, and sinking, authorities have jumped into action and citizens have begun evacuations.
The location of the town is a major contributing factor to Joshimath’s sinking. The city was built on landslide debris, which has a low bearing capacity and cannot support rapid construction, as experts have long warned. In the previous few decades, the slopes have become extremely unstable due to increased building, hydroelectric projects, and the extension of the National Highway.
The city’s fate was also caused by erosion brought on by streams flowing from Vishnuprayag and sliding down natural streams. Old landslide debris, which includes boulders, gneissic rocks, and loose soil, is spread across the area’s dispersed rocks.
WHERE CAN JOSHIMATH BE SAVED?
The region’s hydroelectric and economic initiatives should be completely suspended, according to experts. However, it is urgently necessary to move the population to a safer area before redesigning the town’s planning to take into account the new variables and shifting geographical features.
One of the most important aspects that needs to be researched and improved is drainage planning. Increasing amounts of trash are seeping into the soil and loosening it from inside, contributing to the city’s inadequate drainage and sewer management. The state administration has requested the irrigation department to investigate the situation and develop a new drainage system design.
Replanting has also been advocated by experts as a way to preserve soil capacity in the area, particularly in susceptible places. To save Joshimath, a coordinated effort between the government and civil organisations is required, assisted by military groups like the BRO.