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Central Team To Submit Its Report To State On Uttarakhand’s ‘Sinking’ Town

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A team from Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) on Monday reached the ‘sinking zone’ Joshimath to analyse the damages caused to buildings for compensation.

The team will be submitting its review report to the state government by today itself.

Joshimath, which is witnessing land subsidence forcing the Uttarakhand government to shift the locals to safer places, has been divided into three zones based on the magnitude of possible danger, an official said on Monday.

This comes after the Joshimath area was declared disaster-prone following cracks developing in the buildings of city. According to Chamoli District Disaster Management Authority, 603 buildings in Joshimath town have developed cracks so far.

Owing to the latest developments, the administration has divided the city into three zones, ‘Danger’, ‘Buffer’, and ‘Completely safe’ zones.

Speaking to ANI, Secretary to Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, R Meenakshi Sundaram said that the administration is conducting a survey to assess the danger and buffer zones.

“The zone which is totally unsafe, that has to be evacuated immediately, that has been called a danger zone. A buffer zone is a zone which is presently safe but can be endangered in the future. And the third is the completely safe zone. A survey is underway for the danger and buffer zone,” he said.

The official said that the administration is also collecting data on the professionals living there.

“We are collecting the details of the number of affected families including how many are residential and commercial. Besides this, we are also collecting data on the occupation of the families. Based on this, the decision can be taken on where to shift them. I am taking a look at the possible places,” Mr Sundaram said.

He said that the buildings which have sustained the most damage will be demolished.

“The buildings which are most damaged will be demolished under the monitoring of NIM and PWD. The administration is making preparations for it,” he said.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured the state of all the possible help in the wake of the land subsidence in the holy town of Joshimath.

The CM said that Prime Minister Modi was seized of the situation in Joshimath and taking regular updates.

After nine wards or municipal areas of the Joshimath were declared as a ‘sinking zone’, CM Dhami said he had called for a collective effort at this hour of crisis.

“We have urged everyone to work as a team and save Joshimath. Residents of 68 houses, which were deemed to be in danger of collapse, have been shifted. An area spreading across 600 houses has been earmarked as a danger zone and efforts are underway to shift the residents inhabiting the area. At this time, everyone needs to come together to save Joshimath,” the CM told ANI.

Earlier, Chamoli District Magistrate Himanshu Khurana said the Joshimath area of Uttarakhand has been declared disaster-prone, with increasing land subsidence and cracks detected.

He said two central teams, including one from the Union Jal Shakti ministry, will arrive in the holy town shortly.

“The Joshimath area has been declared disaster-prone. Two teams from the central government, including a team from the Jal Shakti ministry, are arriving here. Construction activities have been banned in Joshimath and nearby areas. Dry ration kits are being distributed to the affected people,” the Chamoli DM said.

Earlier on Monday, the district administration said basic facilities at relief camps set up for the affected people were being constantly inspected.

“Basic facilities in the relief camps arranged for the affected people in Joshimath are being constantly inspected by the administration and all possible help is being extended to the affected people,” DM Khurana said.

Mr Khurana said immediate inspection will be conducted by the administration if a need arises.

A total of 68 families have been ‘temporarily’ displaced, officials said.

“Under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, Hotel Mount View and Malari Inn have been banned for operation and accommodation, until further orders,” the Chamoli District Disaster Management Authority said in a statement.

In the Joshimath city area, 229 rooms have been temporarily identified as habitable, with the capacity estimated at 1271.

The administration has also ordered an immediate evacuation of residents from areas prone to excessive landslides and deemed unsafe, after considering the risk to life and property, under sections 33 and 34 of the Disaster Management Act.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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