Joshimath Crisis: 5 Reasons Why Uttarakhand's Holy Town Is 'Sinking'

What's happening in
Uttarakhand's Joshimath?

Cracks have developed in hundreds of houses and roads in Joshimath, the gateway to some renowned pilgrimage sites like Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib. The city is on the verge of collapse and has been declared a landslide-subsidence zone

Spiritual town
Joshimath 'sinking'

According to Chamoli district administration, as many as 603 buildings in 9 wards have developed cracks and 65 families have been rescued and relocated

Why is Joshimath sinking?

The biggest reason why Joshimath, a town of over 20,000 people is sinking, is related to the geography of the town. The landslide debris on which the city was established has a low bearing capacity, however, population and construction activities have been on a rise

Key reason of
Joshimath's collapse

Located at a height of 6,000 feet in Uttarakhand's Chamoli district, land subsidence in Joshimath is primarily due to the National Thermal Power Corporation's Tapovan Vishnugad Hydro Power Project

Rampant construction,
soil erosion leading to
Joshimath 'sinking'

Rampant infrastructure development coupled with soil erosion brought on by streams flowing from Vishnuprayag and sliding along natural streams, and climate change, have added to the existing situation in the hilly town

Joshimath on
brink of disaster

The city, which serves as a stop for visitors to Badrinath, Auli, Valley of Flowers, and Hemkund Sahib, falls in high-risk seismic 'Zone-V' which is more prone to earthquakes

Uttarakhand's holy town
under threat

Experts have for long warned that Joshimath, which is a popular tourist destination and a place of strategic importance to the Indian Army, cannot support a high rate of construction

Govt ramps up efforts
to save Joshimath

Dr PK Mishra, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has held a high-level review of building damage and land subsidence in Joshimath. He stressed that the immediate priorities for the state should be the safety of the people living in the affected area

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