Joshimath sinking: Top officials from the Union Home Ministry and members of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will visit Joshimath in Uttarakhand today to assess the situation and save the sinking town. This was decided after a review meeting was held on Sunday by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) over the land subsidence being faced by the people there, raising fears of the town sinking under its own weight. It was decided in the meeting, which was conducted by Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, PK Mishra and Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, that Secretary, Border Management in the Home Ministry and NDMA members would visit Uttarakhand to assess the situation there.
Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati on Joshimath disaster
Affected people need patience and morale support. We've invited people with different expertise - from astrologers to dharma shastris. They've told us about the rituals to protect Jyotirmath, said Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati.
From January 22-31, we intend to hold a special Yagya at Narsingh temple. We will do that too. Experts will also be called to investigate the cause of the situation. We will continue to stand with the local people, he said.
"We've also approached the Supreme Court and our legal team is there. The matter will be presented before the CJI and a request will be made for an urgent hearing. We have demanded before the SC to declare this a national disaster so that locals be helped accordingly," Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati said.
NDMA, other teams to study Joshimath sinking
The PMO has directed that teams of experts from the NDMA, the National Institute of Disaster Management, the Geological Survey of India, the IIT Roorkee, the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, the National Institute of Hydrology, and the Central Building Research Institute should study the situation and give their recommendations on the matter immediately.
The Uttarakhand Chief Secretary briefed the PMO from Joshimath through video conferencing, sources said.
Residents shifted to safe locations
It was informed in the meeting that one team of NDRF and four teams of SDRF have already reached Joshimath, and affected families are being shifted to safe locations, sources said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also spoken to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and offered all assistance in relief and rehabilitation work.
(With inputs from agencies)
ALSO READ | Experts blame Joshimath disaster on rampant infrastructure development
ALSO READ | Joshimath sinking issue: Plea filed in Delhi HC to look into rehabilitation matters