Joshimath sinking UPDATES: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami conducted a ground inspection of the landslide-affected areas in Joshimath and he met the affected families. After conducting an inspection, the Chief Minister ordered an immediate evacuation of around 600 families living in houses which have developed huge cracks and are at risk in Joshimath which is sinking.
"Saving lives is our first priority. Officials have been asked to shift around 600 families living in endangered houses in Joshimath to safe locations," Dhami told media on Friday after reviewing the situation in the sinking town.
"We are also working on short and long-term plans to address the situation in Joshimath," he said.
Garhwal Commissioner Sushil Kumar and secretary, disaster management, Ranjit Kumar Sinha along with a team of experts are camping on the ground to constantly monitor the situation.
Relocation of people from the affected areas should be done expeditiously, Uttarakhand CM told the officials. Medical treatment facilities should be available on ground and arrangements for airlifting people should also be made, he said.
An immediate action plan as well as a long-term action plan should be prepared and work on both should be started in right earnest, Dhami said. Procedures should be simplified to expedite work on treatment of danger zones, sewer and drainage.
"Lives of our citizens are most important for us " he said.
"Joshimath should be divided into sectors and zones and action should be taken accordingly.A disaster control room should also be set up in the town," the chief minister said.
For permanent rehabilitation of the affected people, alternative locations should be identified in Pipalkoti, Gauchar and other places, he said. The district magistrate should stay in touch with people and the potential danger zones should also be identified.
"Moving people to safe locations is necessary. Satellite images can also be useful in this. All departments should act with a team spirit to achieve success in the exercise," Dhami said.
Adequate deployment of State Disaster Response Force and National Disaster Response Force personnel should be made to help the affected people, he said, adding helicopter services should also be made available, if required.
"Joshimath is a town of religious and cultural importance. Care should be taken to ensure that the livelihoods of people are not affected," he said.
A temple collapsed on Friday evening in Singdhar ward of Joshimath, further alarming residents living under constant fear of a major disaster in the offing. Luckily there was no one inside the temple when it collapsed as it had been abandoned after it developed huge cracks over the past 15 days, locals said. Huge cracks have appeared in scores of houses while many have suffered subsidence.
Door-to door survey by experts team:
A team of experts, including officials from the administration and State Disaster Management, conducted a door-to-door survey in the areas which were affected by the land subsidence in Uttarakhand's Joshimath.
Garhwal Commissioner Sushil Kumar and Disaster Management Secretary Ranjit Kumar Sinha started the door-to-door survey in Joshimath.Out of 561 establishments, 153 in Ravigram ward, 127 in the Gandhinagar ward, 28 in the Marwadi ward, 24 in the Lower Bazaar ward, 52 in the Singhdhar ward, 71 in the Manohar Bagh ward, 29 in the Upper Bazaar ward 27 in the Sunil ward and 50 in Parsari reported cracks, according to Chamoli district administration statement.
The operations of Hotel View and Malari Inn were restricted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, till further orders, the statement added. On Thursday, a total of nine families were displaced, which includes four families in Joshimath Municipal Corporation, one from Gurudwara Joshimath, one from Tourist Hostel, Manohar Bagh and others.
Nearly 50 families have been moved to safer locations, officials said. Apart from them, 60 families living in a colony meant for Vishnu Prayag Jal Vidyut Pariyojana employees have been shifted elsewhere, its director Pankaj Chauhan said.
Marwari area, where an aquifer burst three days ago, is the worst hit as water is constantly coming down from it.
All construction activities related to mega projects like the Char Dham all-weather road and the National Thermal Power Corporation's hydel project have been stopped till further orders on the demand of residents. The Auli ropeway, which is Asia's biggest, has been stopped after a huge crack developed beneath it, former president of the local municipality Rishi Prasad Sati said.
Land subsidence has been going on for more than a year but the problem has aggravated over the past fortnight, he said. Meanwhile, protests continued on Friday as people staged a dharna at the tehsil office Joshimath demanding rehabilitation. As Joshimath's susbsidence seemed to aggravate, the ruling BJP sent a team to the town to assess the situation.
Uttarakhand CM ground inspection:
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami will conduct a ground inspection of the land subsidence-affected area in Joshimath on Saturday. According to Chief Minister's Office (CMO), CM Dhami will meet the affected families and hold a meeting with the officials deployed in relief work.
In view of land subsidence in Joshimath, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Friday (January 6) gave instructions to set up a big temporary rehabilitation centre in the town. Chief Minister Dhami chaired a high-level meeting at the Secretariat. He directed officials to set up a temporary rehabilitation centre at a safe place in Joshimath. He said that sector and zonal wise planning should be made in Joshimath.
The Chief Minister instructed that the danger zone should be vacated immediately and the disaster control room should be activated in Joshimath without delay. After land subsidence was reported in Joshimath, the Chamoli district administration on Friday instructed to immediately deploy a team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in the town.
Indian Army role/rescue operation:
MoD asked detailed report on Joshimath situation from Indian Army. Cracks are also visible near Brigade HQ of Indian Army in Joshimath. It is an entry point of LAC for army and also strategic railway line project is going on here. It will be there in Phase 2.
Senior official in ITBP said that they already sent an detailed report and analysis on Joshimath to MHA.
(With agencies inputs)