Joshimath: Authorities to demolish 2 hotels, mark 200 houses unsafe
The Chamoli district administration in Uttarakhand is set to demolish two hotels in Joshimath amid the subsidence crisis in the Himalayan town, which forced hundreds out of their homes after it developed deep cracks. Leaning against each other, Hotel Mount View and Malari Inn will be razed mechanically as they pose a threat to the safety of a dozen houses in the vicinity.
Why does this story matter?
- Joshimath is a Himalayan town and the starting point of several treks and trails. Its attraction for pilgrims and tourists has led to its exponential growth over the years, leading to the construction of buildings and roadways.
- The geographical stability of the town has, however, always been in question. In 2022, a Supreme Court-appointed panel found that Joshimath was built on an unstable foundation.
81 families temporarily rehabilitated so far
A team from Roorkee's Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) conducted a survey of both structures to ensure 'zero collateral damage' in the congested area. As many as 81 families have been temporarily rehabilitated to safer locations so far, as the number of buildings with major cracks rose from 603 to 678 out of the total 4,500 buildings in the town on Monday.
Both hotels to be demolished mechanically
Occupants asked to shift to temporary relief centers, rented accommodation
The district administration has marked over 200 houses with a red cross as an identification of structures at a higher risk of collapse. The occupants were asked to move to the temporary relief centers or rented accommodation, for which the state government will provide Rs. 4,000 to each family for the next six months. The administration has stepped up door-to-door surveys and evacuation.
Location of underground water accumulation needs to be traced
A team formed by the Centre will visit Joshimath to assess the situation. Officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) underscored the need to ascertain the location of the underground water accumulation on Monday. Meanwhile, National and State Disaster Response Forces (NDRF and SDRF) are on standby to assist the rescue and relief operations.