Joshimath sinking: Saving lives our first priority, says CM Dhami; orders evacuation, choppers on standby
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami ordered the immediate evacuation of around 600 families living in houses that have developed huge cracks and are at risk. A temple collapsed on Friday evening, and several houses have developed huge cracks, alarming residents living under constant fear of a major disaster.
In light of the “sinking" town of Chamoli’s Joshimath, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Friday ordered the immediate evacuation of around 600 families living in houses that have developed huge cracks and are at risk. He will also meet with the affected families and the officials working on the relief effort.
“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 informed reporters after examining the situation in the sinking town with officials via video conference.
The state government has also deployed teams of professionals, including geologists, construction specialists, and other experts, to examine the situation in the region. Choppers have also been placed on standby. On Saturday, the chief minister will travel to Joshimath, where he will meet with those who have been impacted and authorities.
The Chief Minister also ordered to expedite work on the restoration of danger zones, sewage, and drainage while also stating that medical care facilities should be accessible on the ground and that plans for airlifting people should also be developed.
An expert group has been assembled by the Centre to carry out a "rapid research" on land subsidence. According to authorities, a committee will investigate how ground subsidence affects buildings, roadways, infrastructure, riverine systems, and human populations.
People held a dharna before the tehsil office in Joshimath on Friday as part of ongoing demonstrations calling for rehabilitation. In 1976, the Mishra Committee was constituted which strongly recommended a ban on construction activities.
Joshimath is the gateway to major Hindu and Sikh religious destinations like Badrinath, and Hemkund Sahib. It also houses one of the major military bases near India's border with China.