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Saturday, February 4, 2023

More evacuations as cracks widen in Uttarakhand

World NewsIndia NewsMore evacuations as cracks widen in Uttarakhand

On Sunday, the multi-level car parking housing relief material for the affected people at Joshi Math cracked, and two more hotels leaned dangerously against each other. More buildings showed signs of structural weakness due to subsidence. Which threatens most of the hill town.

Number of houses that have cracks. A bulletin from the Disaster Management Authority said the number has now risen to 826, of which 165 are in “unsafe zones”. So far 798 people have been shifted to temporary relief centres.

While other towns in Uttarakhand have expressed concern over the decline, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu Some parts of the state may also face gradual sliding, said Sunday.

The municipal board, which runs the car park at Joshi Math, has started evacuating staff as a precautionary measure, said executive office Bharat Bushan Panwar.

Also read: Joshi Mutt residents say looking at an uncertain future

He further said that the third floor of the building is being used by the district administration to store relief goods received from across the country and it is up to them to decide whether to move it.

An employee of the municipal board, who has been living on the ground floor of the building with his family for the past 12 years, said that the cracks have been growing at an alarming rate for the past few days.

“One can easily put a finger inside the crack which was not possible before,” said Deepu, who goes by one name.

Also read: No scope for repairs in Joshi Mutt, NTPC engineers puncture water, says environmentalist

Dinesh Bijluan, technical officer of the Central Building Research Institute, said the building is among the five structures in ward number 4 under municipal limits that have been put under surveillance, while the district administration has stepped up distribution of relief supplies.

“The inventory from the storeroom will be shifted elsewhere and we are speeding up distribution to the relief camps,” said Nandan Kumar, nodal officer in charge of relief supplies.

Demolition of two adjacent hotels, the Mallery Inn and the Mountview, continued late Sunday. About 100 meters from the site, two more hotels – the Snowcrest and the Comet – leaned dangerously close to each other and were evacuated.

“Earlier the distance between the two hotels was about four feet but now it has narrowed down to just a few inches and their roofs are almost touching,” said Pooja Prajapati, daughter of Snowcrest’s owner.

Wider cracks have appeared near the Joshi Math-Auli ropeway, whose operations were suspended a week ago when the ground subsidence increased.

The 4.5 km long ropeway, considered Asia’s longest, connects the Joshi Mutt at 6,000 feet with the skiing destination of Auli at 9,000 feet.

Ropeway engineer Dinesh Bhatt said a crack, about four inches wide and 20 feet long, has appeared near the walls of the ropeway premises.

Deputy Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office Mangesh Ghaldyal also reached the sinking city on Sunday and inspected the scene.

A suspected underground channel burst in JP Colony in the town’s Marwari area after a temporary drop in water flow a few days ago. The muddy water has been falling steadily below it since January 2, but experts are unsure of its origin.

State Disaster Management Secretary Ranjit Kumar Sinha said that the speed of water flow in the area is being continuously monitored which is fluctuating.

The water flow has increased from 190 liters per minute (LPM) to 240 LPM. It was reduced from 550 LPM initially to 190 LPM on January 13.

Many houses were damaged to varying degrees in the landslide-affected areas, while water from the reservoir initially flowed down with great force.

According to the Disaster Management Authority, 17 more affected families were shifted to temporary relief centers in Joshi Mutt. The total number of families shifted to temporary relief centers is now 233.

An amount of It said that so far Rs 249.27 lakh has been distributed to the affected families as interim relief.

They have also been provided with ration kits, blankets, food, daily use kits, heaters and blowers.

Amid widespread concern over the fate of the sinking town, the Supreme Court will on Monday hear a petition seeking its intervention to declare the Joshi Mutt crisis a national calamity.

On Sunday, the Himachal Chief Minister, while addressing the 148th Foundation Day celebrations of the India Meteorological Department, requested Union Minister Jitendra Singh to visit the state to take stock of the situation. “Like Joshi Math, we also have some areas in Himachal Pradesh that are slowly sliding. We could not plan effectively for these areas without proper technology. People built houses wherever they wanted. This is a Also on high seismic zone. Please come to Himachal Pradesh, we want to discuss disaster related issues. Lahaul and Spiti is another big district with snow, rivers and glaciers. Kannur is bordering China, you have These areas need to be looked at carefully,” he said.

(with agency information)

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