Amid reports that two hotels damaged by the landslide and subsidence in the Joshimath area are likely to be dismantled, the owner of one of the hotels sat in protest with his family on Wednesday demanding compensation.
Speaking to ANI, Thakur Singh Rana, the hotel owner said, “My son stays in France. I can move there. But I am sitting in protest instead in solidarity with fellow (Joshimath) residents.”
His wife said, “We need to be compensated as those affected by the ongoing Badrinath redevelopment work. We are even prepared to sit out in the freezing cold till our demand is met.”
Hotel Inn and Hotel Mount View, which have developed more cracks, will be dismantled in a few days, officials had said earlier, adding that all residents have been safely evacuated from the ‘unsafe zones’.
According to sources, the hotel owners will meet the district magistrate in their push for compensation.
Officials had earlier said buildings will be dismantled under the supervision of a team of experts from the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee.
A team from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is on standby to assist the district administration in the dismantling work, as and when required.
“Experts are on the ground and the administration will take action on their directions and advice,” said the NDRF.
“They will be dismantling these hotels for the safety of the 15-20 families still living here. Our houses have been destroyed,” said Manmohan Singh Rawat, a local.
On Monday, District Magistrate Himanshu Khurana informed that a central team would arrive in Chamoli district to survey the damage wrought to properties by the land subsidence and suggest a way forward while coordinating with the local administration in relief and rescue efforts.
“A team from the Ministry of Home Affairs will come to Joshimath on Tuesday. Demolition of buildings will start tomorrow under the supervision of the team of Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) Roorkee,” Mr Khurana had said.
On Monday, a team from the Union Jal Shakti Ministry also arrived at Joshimath. Occupants of buildings in areas that are to be brought down have been shifted by the administration after they were declared ‘unsafe zones’.
The officials of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) also called on Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami at his residence on Monday to discuss relief and rescue operations.
The officials assured the chief minister of an investigation into the geographical condition of the Joshimath area and the causes of the landslide. The state administration was also assured of central assistance in mobilising disaster relief.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)