Uncontrolled Construction Caused Joshimath’s Land Subsidence, Say Experts

Experts say uncontrolled construction has caused land subsidence in Joshimath

Experts say land subsidence is also possible in Nainital and Mussoorie. (File)

New Delhi:

Experts said on Saturday that unplanned and uncontrolled construction in the name of development in Uttarakhand had pushed Joshimath to the brink of sinking and demanded that the Himalayas be declared a sensitive area. about ecology.

In a resolution adopted at a roundtable organized by Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), experts called the steps taken “inappropriate” to deal with the prevailing situation in Joshimath, where subsidence.

They also asked the government to consider taking long-term measures to solve the problem, saying that a similar situation could arise in Nainital, Mussoorie and other parts of Garhwal if “so-called developments” due to human greed” unchecked. hill state.

“Declaring the Himalayas an ecologically sensitive area. Regulating major projects causes havoc,” the resolution said. While the width of the road in the Char Dham road widening project should be regulated to an intermediate standard to minimize damage to the terrain, the Char Dham railway project should be re-evaluated and reconsidered.

The resolution reads: “The Chardham Railway is an overly ambitious project that will cause much devastation and further overload the state of Uttarakhand, the tourist hub. This project should be re-evaluated and reconsidered.”

A detailed assessment of the capacity of Uttarakhand should be carried out to ensure that the number of tourists visiting these places is accounted for and also to ensure that the influx of tourists does not cause environmental overload. said more.

The roundtable, organized to discuss the topic of the ‘imminent Himalayan crisis’, was attended by the former chairman of the Supreme Court-appointed committee on the Center’s Char Dham project, Ravi Chopra, former member Hemant Dhyani and others, SJM co-convenor Awshwani Mahajan told PTI.

“Sri Adi Shankaracharya founded the city in the eighth century, home to the holy site of Jyotirlinga, known as Joshimath (Jyotir Mathematics). Today, this mathematics is on the verge of collapse. News about the Joshimath shipwreck has shaken the whole world, the whole country,” said Mahajan.

“Although some steps have been taken in light of the current crisis, experts believe that the sinking of the first Jyotir Math founded by Adi Shankaracharya is unstoppable,” he added.

Calling the steps taken by the government to deal with the current situation “unsatisfactory”, the resolution notes that on the one hand, a large number of people will be displaced as a result of the sinking of the Joshimath, on the other hand. otherwise, the solution is to be sought only by rehabilitating the affected residents. “Currently, the work of major projects in this area – the National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC) hydropower project, the construction of the Helang bypass, part of the Chardham road widening project, and the cable project hanging, was stopped by the district government in the face of local protests,” it noted.

It can be seen that areas such as Bhagirathi ESZ, where large-scale projects have not been implemented and the local ecosystem is free from interference, land subsidence, landslide incidents and devastating natural disaster events can be seen. Cruelty is the least or none, it emphasizes.

“This is proof enough that indiscriminate, unplanned construction everywhere else in Uttarakhand has directly or indirectly impacted and exacerbated a disaster-like situation,” it added. .

It is worth mentioning how people cut the mountain at the foot of Mount Joshimath to build Chardham Marg and how, without proper hydrogeological study, NTPC dug a tunnel in the middle of the mountain, this fragile mountain has destroyed,” the resolution noted.

“It has also been found that due to the massive and unplanned construction of hotels and high-rise buildings, the layout of sanitation is unreasonable, adding to the instability and burden on Joshimath,” it said.

“Due to all of this, today the entire Joshimath area is sinking and we have no way of saving the area,” it added.

In the name of development, the resolution noted, construction work and encroachment on nature are taking place continuously throughout Uttarakhand. Due to massive deforestation, there are almost no trees left on the mountain; and thus landslides have become a common feature in these youngest fold mountains, it claims.

“Pathetic construction in the name of development without assessing the expected impact is becoming the cause of tragedies today and before. This crisis can only be avoided by limiting the situation. this state of indiscriminate construction,” the resolution stated.

“Considering this kind of rapid destruction in the past, it must be considered that the so-called development fueled by human greed cannot be allowed to continue. Long-term measures must be taken to solve this problem” it asked.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)

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