March 1, 2024
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In Uttarakhand’s “Sinking” Town, A Temple Collapses, Houses On Verge, People Out In Cold

Over 500 homes and other structures have developed cracks due to the earth shifting, which has caused concern among locals who have been camping out in the cold in Joshimath, a Himalayan town, after a temple fell on Friday evening.

For a door-to-door survey on Saturday, when Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami is scheduled to also stop by, a team of professionals and scientists is already stationed here.

According to the mayor, the impacted population is above 3,000. That represents more than 10% of the inhabitants of the Himalayan town. In the sacred town, which serves as a gateway to important Hindu and Sikh pilgrimages and as one of the key military stations close to India’s border, cracks are continually expanding along the highways and across them.

No one was hurt in the temple’s fall because it was removed after seeing significant flaws. Auli, a nearby town, is experiencing a similar issue; all access roads have been shut down. A hydropower plant and the Char Dham road are two other ongoing projects that have been put on hold.

According to the state administration, tenants who must leave their homes due to damage would get 4,000 per month in rent from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for the ensuing six months.

Unchecked expansion in Joshimath, a hill town in the Chamoli region, has resulted in cracks that literally run the length of the hill town, as evidenced by a tilted hotel building falling onto the one next to it on a main road.

Following protests by locals who demand a solution or sufficient rehabilitation, the Chief Minister is scheduled to visit. The state’s BJP government says it will take whatever action is necessary after it receives the experts’ reports.

Locals attribute the problem to climate change and ongoing infrastructural construction.

The Chamoli district administration reports that 561 establishments formally reported cracks. The notification also stated that operations at Hotel View and Malari Inn, the hotel that is leaning against the structure adjacent to it, have been curtailed.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

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