Dehradun: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Wednesday visited the holy town of Joshimath that is facing land subsidence. Dismissing the reports of demolition of houses with cracks, Dhami said that “no action” is being taken to bring down the houses. The Uttarakhand CM appealed to the people not to pay attention to such rumours. “Rumors are being spread about the demolition of houses which have developed cracks in the affected area. I appeal to all not to pay heed to these rumours. No action is being taken to demolish the houses having cracks in the affected area,” he said. Agitated locals continued to sit on dharna and refused to allow authorities to raze the hotels. They are demanding compensation along the lines of what was offered to those displaced by the Badrinath renovation masterplan. The evacuation of affected families continued on Wednesday with 18 more shifted to temporary relief centres. A total of 145 families have been evacuated so far from the danger zone in Joshimath.
“We stand with the people of Joshimath. The prime minister is personally monitoring the situation. I have his full support. Their (affected people) interest will be taken care of,” he told reporters on his arrival in Joshimath. The Chief Minister will stay at a camp here in the night.
“Compensation will be given according to the market rate which will be ascertained after taking stakeholders into confidence”, said the chief minister who visited houses that have developed cracks more recently and spoke to the affected people.
It’s our priority to provide relief to the affected families & resettle them. An atmosphere is being created that the whole of Uttarakhand is in danger, it is not correct. We’re ensuring that a balance is maintained between ecology & economy: Uttarakhand CM PS Dhami at Joshimath pic.twitter.com/gYSghag3Y1
— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) January 11, 2023
Dhami also said that an impression is being created that the whole of Uttarakhand is in danger which is not correct. “Such an impression should not be created. We are going to have the international winter games in Auli in February. Char Dham yatra will also begin in a few months. This kind of wrong impression should not be created,” he said.
Dhami said there should be a “balance between ecology and economy” wherever development work is being carried out. He clarified that only two hotels were going to be mechanically demolished and not the houses marked as unsafe.
Over 700 houses have been declared unsafe. Two adjacent hotels – the seven-storied Malari Inn and the five-storied Mount View – stand precariously in the subsidence zone posing a threat to more than a dozen houses.
Preparations to demolish them mechanically with the help of Roorkee-based Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), which carried out the demolition of Noida’s twin towers, began on Tuesday itself but the exercise hit a hurdle when owners of the two hotels supported by locals sat on a protest.
PM Modi, Amit Shah, JP Nadda enquire about situation in Joshimath
It was learnt that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is constantly taking updates about the on ground situation from Chief Minister Dhami.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday enquired about the situation in Joshimath over the phone from Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, news agency ANI reported.
Meanwhile, BJP National President J.P. Nadda also spoke to Dhami and BJP state President Mahendra Bhatt over the phone and enquired about the ongoing relief and rescue operations in Joshimath.
(With agency inputs)