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“Only 25% Houses In Joshimath Have Cracks”: Chief Minister To NDTV

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Only a fourth of the homes in Uttarakhand’s “sinking town” Joshimath have cracks, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said today.

He also said Rs 1.5 lakh would be given to families as compensation by this evening.

After Joshimath, the state government is checking other towns for similar problems. “We are studying other cities in the area and how much weight they can take. Accordingly, we will take steps,” Mr Dhami said.

The temple town, which is the gateway to popular pilgrimage sites like Badrinath, is facing a crisis with massive cracks appearing in buildings and roads after years of unplanned infrastructure building.

Many have fled their homes and around 600 houses and hotels are sinking in the town of around 20,000 people.

Thousands of residents are being evacuated to safety. The state government will demolish the most damaged buildings in the next few days.

The town also hosts a major Indian army base and a strategic road to the disputed border with China that has also reportedly developed wide cracks.

The region is prone to earthquakes and has seen disasters in recent years blamed on melting glaciers and incessant construction and drilling in the mountains. In 2021, at least 200 people were killed in flash floods in Joshimath and surrounding areas in a disaster partly blamed on excessive development.

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