Amit Shah chairs a high-level meeting on the Joshimath crisis.

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday chaired a high-level meeting to review the situation on the ‘sinking’ town of Joshimath, a town in Uttarakhand facing land subsidence affecting the lives of hundreds of families.

In the aftermath of land subsidence, Shah presided over a meeting with Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, RK Singh, Bhupendra Yadav, and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on issues relating to roads, power supply, water scarcity, and the environment in Joshimath.

Other senior officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs, including Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, were present for the nearly 40-minute meeting at the Home Minister’s residence.

As of now, over 720 buildings in the Joshimath city area have reportedly developed cracks due to land subsidence. Residents have relocated to safer areas as part of the rehabilitation process, even as geologists and experts work to determine the causes of subsidence in the ecologically sensitive region.

Shah took stock of the situation and directed to take relief measures in the meeting which also learnt to attended by the National Disaster Management Authority, Senior officers of Uttarakhand; and experts from IIT Roorkee, National Institute of Disaster Management, Geological Survey of India and Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology through video conferencing.

The Home Minister Amit Shah apprised that the district administration is working with the affected families to evacuate and relocate them to safer places with adequate arrangements for food, shelter and security.

Officials have stopped construction projects in the region and the government formed a committee to look into the incident and the situation arising out of the sudden crisis.

The Uttarakhand government has also ordered the authorities to start surveying and dismantling the infrastructures that are posing a threat to the surrounding buildings as well.

The Uttarakhand government has also announced a Rs 45 crore relief package for families in Joshimath, where large cracks have appeared in homes and on roads. Pushkar Singh Dhami, the Himalayan state’s chief minister, has also declared a relief package for nearly 3,000 families affected by gradual land subsidence.

The Chief Minister also announced that the state disaster authority has given each family Rs 50,000 as a non-adjustable one-time special grant for transportation of goods and immediate needs.

Joshimath, on the Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway (NH 7), serves as an overnight stop for visitors to the holy shrines of Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib, as well as the tourist destinations of Auli and the Valley of Flowers.

Along with Joshimath, the same phenomenon of land subsidence also reported from other areas of Uttarakhand including Uttarkashi, Tehri, Pauri and Karanprayag.


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