New Delhi: Amidst protests by residents of Uttarakhand town Joshimath over its “gradual sinking“, a report by the New Indian Express has noted that similar fissures and sinking complaints have come from Karnaprayag. On Friday, a temple that had developed cracks collapsed in Joshimath.
Karnaprayag is over 80 kilometres away from Joshimath. More than 50 houses there have developed fissures. The town has around 50,000 residents and is downhill from Joshimath.
Meanwhile, late on Friday, a temple collapsed in Joshimath in Uttarakhand on Friday evening, sparking fresh fear among residents. Several residents have had to move out of their houses and have spent the night in the cold due to cracks having developed in their houses.
NDTV quoted the municipality chief as having said that more than 3,000 people were affected. At least 40 families have been forced to move out. As many as 561 establishments have reported cracks.
Along with climate and infrastructural changes, the widening of the Char Dham road between Helang and Marwari is being blamed.
The government has paused this project for the time being.
Environmental concerns over the contentious 825-km Char Dham highway have been voiced by experts several times. In 2021, the Supreme Court had dismissed these, citing national security.
Uttarakhand is a hazard-prone state. An earlier analysis for The Wire by Kavitha Upadhyay had quoted geologist C.P. Rajendran, from the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru, and an expert in Himalayan tectonics as having said, “Cutting hills for wider roads will only destabilise them further.”
Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, who is likely to visit Joshimath today, has ordered evacuation and temporary shelters for the affected families, reported NDTV.
Houses along Joshimath, including hotels also show signs of damage and leaning.
Very scary situation unfolding in #Joshimath. Massive cracks and fissures in almost all houses, major hotels and roads. More than 700 families are impacted. Leaning buildings across the town.
Families tell me, "The govt knew everything since last year but never took any action." pic.twitter.com/G9SRvmG1kV
— Tanushree Pandey (@TanushreePande) January 6, 2023