Joshimath city in Devbhoomi Uttarakhand has been “sinking” or undergoing land subsidence. Huge cracks are appearing at the buildings, houses and people are fearing for their lives. Chief Minister of the state, Pushkar Singh Dhami has completed aerial and on-ground survey to understand the problem. He assured to people of Joshimath that government will provide them ample assistance to relocate to a safer place and also announced that geoscientists are looking into the problem. Now, Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati has filed a petition in Supreme Court asking Joshimath tragedy to be named as “National Disaster”.
As people of Joshimath are facing grave danger of losing lives and property, he has pleaded Supreme Court to direct National Disaster Management Authority to support residents of the city, in relocation. The city has been important tourist attraction in Uttarakhand as it is near Vishnu Prayag, Hemkund Sahib and Badrinath. Joshimath is located at a height of 6000 m and is constructed on a slant ground, in Chamoli district.
The plea has been filed by Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati seeking direction to declare the current incidents of Joshimath land subsidence as a 'National disaster' & direct the National Disaster Management Authority to actively support the residents of Joshimath.
— ANI (@ANI) January 7, 2023
The city has historical significance and is thousands of years old. Scientists have advised Government against construction of any huge buildings as it is near to Alakananda and Dhauliganga rivers, tributaries of Ganges flowing areas. Joshimath is one of four ancient pithas established by Sage Adi Shankaracharya. Badrinath temple shrine is brought to the city during winter hiatus for daily offerings. Even tourists going to visit Badrinath take rest at Joshimath as it is located near to it and they can visit Auli Ski Resort, Valley of Flowers. Joshimath is also a key station for Indian Army as well.
Geoscientists feel the cause for land subsidence is due to the city being built on breached aquifer – a rock that holds water. Joshimath city lacks good drainage system and water flowing near by has weakened the ancient rocks further. Well, whatever might be the reason, immediate attention needs to be given to shifting people to safer grounds and relocate them while providing them compensation for lost property value as well.
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