Uttarakhand's Disaster Management Department wants to conduct the geological survey at 10 spots throughout the Joshimath to get better survey results, the news agency ANI reported on Sunday. The drainage department has opened a tender for a drainage plan, and the government will take note of where the work has reached, Disaster Management secretary Ranjit Kumar Sinha on Saturday.
In the Cabinet, it was decided that the department will work towards toe erosion (which is erosion at the front lower portion of the hills). "We were directed to get a timeline from the officials, and then start work towards shifting the people," he said. Four companies have bid for the drainage contract, and the company with the required technical capabilities will be shortlisted.
The secretary said that cracks do occur on the houses in hill areas. But if huge cracks are coming up, then proper action must be taken. About 700 houses and roads have developed cracks in Joshimath, the gateway to famous pilgrimage sites like Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib.
The town is at risk of sinking due to a combination of natural and anthropogenic factors. Geologist Dr Sarkar said they want to carry out the geographical survey in the whole of Joshimath. He said the geological survey has already started and the collected data will go for interpretation. "It will take some time as soils have to dig and then be sent to laboratories. "We want this survey to take place at 10 spots in the whole of Joshimath so that we get better results," he said.
Earlier this week, ISRO's National Remote Sensing Centre studied the satellite images to identify the location and extent of land subsidence in Joshimath. As per the observation, the entire town of Joshimath is witnessing rapid sinking and it sank 5.4 cm in a period of just 12 days.
In Joshimath, land subsidence of up to 9 cm was recorded over a period of seven months, between April and November 2022. And between 27 December 2022 and 8 January 2023, a rapid subsidence event was triggered. "The region subsided around ~ -5 cm within a span of a few days and the areal extent of subsidence has also increased. But it is confined to the central part of Joshimath town," the report said.
Several geologists and environmental experts have blamed the rapid construction for the crisis in Joshimath. They say NTPC's ongoing power project and Char Dham roads have also played role in this crisis. However, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari recently said that roads are being constructed outside the town and that the technical report will reveal the real cause.
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