Joshimath declared ‘unsafe for living’ after land subsidence

The Uttarakhand government has declared Joshimath’s all nine municipal wards as ‘disaster affected’ and ‘unsafe for living’ under the Disaster Management Act in view of the growing threat from land subsidence that has resulted in cracks in over 600 houses in the holy city and has started evacuation of the people from these areas.

Ranjit Kumar Sinha, secretary of disaster management, said a notification under Section 23 of the Uttaranchal Disaster Mitigation, Management and Prevention Act 2005, has been issued and the decision came after an expert team, which is surveying houses in Joshimath, made a recommendation in this regard to the state administration.

“Four areas, which include two zones in Gandhinagar, one zone in Singhdar, two in Manohar ward and one in Sunil ward within municipal limits of Joshimath, have been declared unsafe for living and have been made no entry zones under the Disaster Management Act. We have deployed a team of state disaster response force and directed the officials to carry out evacuation of people from these zones,” said Himanshu Khurana, district magistrate (DM), Chamoli.

Khurana said according to section 23 of the Disaster Management Act, during the period an area remains a disaster affected area they can work on prevention of disaster, mitigation of effects of disaster, facilitate, coordinate and monitor emergency relief, and monitor and coordinate reconstruction and rehabilitation.

Khurana said health department has been directed to send a team of psychologists and psychiatrists to address the mental trauma being faced by some residents of the town due to land subsidence activities.

Meanwhile, chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said he had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the emerging situation in Joshimath and what steps have been taken for the rehabilitation and safety of people in the area. Dhami said PM Modi has assured all possible help to save Joshimath and its people.


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