Home Dehradun Govt awaits reports from experts on reasons for Joshimath subsidence

Govt awaits reports from experts on reasons for Joshimath subsidence

By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 14 Jan: Uttarakhand Government is waiting reports from various central and state institutions which are engaged in conducting the studies and surveys, to pin-point the actual reasons for land subsidence in Joshimath. Sources in the government have indicated that the government will take a decision on the report of the central institutions to declare the actual reasons for land subsidence and what measures can be adopted on Joshimath issue. It remains a question if previous situation can be restored in Joshimath and those who have been shifted temporarily can be safely relocated back in their own properties. Meanwhile, it was informed by Chief Engineer of Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) that around 4,000 buildings in Joshimath were being assessed in 9 municipal wards of Joshimath in respect of the extent of damage, and to find out whether these buildings had been constructed in accordance with the prescribed norms or not and how these buildings were constructed and what materials were used for construction of these buildings.
Sources indicate that most of the central institutes in question are expected to submit their reports in around two weeks time. Following the receipt of the reports, a committee will be constituted to study these reports and form a final opinion. After this the report will be tabled in the cabinet. The government will act and take decisions based on the recommendations of the scientists concerned.
It may be recalled that during the cabinet briefing held yesterday, Chief Secretary Dr SS Sandhu informed that teams of scientists from CBRI, Wadia Institute, IIRS, NGRI Hyderabad, Indian Soil Testing Institute, Geological Survey of India, IIT Roorkee and other institutes were studying the affected area in Joshimath to find out the reasons behind the land subsidence.
Meanwhile, all construction activities, including the construction of under-development NTPC hydro project are on hold. The government has meanwhile received a report on NTPC project, but it is based on a survey conducted earlier and the report is being studied.
On the other hand, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which had on Friday released some photos and some information on the land subsidence in Joshimath has now withdrawn the release. The decision to withhold further information which was being shared by various government organisations with the media or on social media on their own has been taken in view of an office memorandum issued by Biswarup Das, Joint Advisor, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).  As per the NDMA advisory, various institutions were releasing their own figures and information on social media which was creating confusion and panic across the country. The NDMA advisory says that the institutions should wait for final reports and conclusions in respect of Joshimath land subsidence, instead of issuing their own interpretations based on inconclusive studies. In fact, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had held a review meeting regarding the Joshimath landslide in New Delhi. After this, on Friday, an office memorandum was issued by Biswarup Das, joint advisor to the National Disaster Management Authority.

Central institutions to which this letter from NDMA has been sent include CBRI Roorkee, GSI Kolkata, NRAC-ISRO Hyderabad, CGWB New Delhi, Surveyor General of India, Survey of India, Dehradun, IIRS, Dehradun, NGRI Hyderabad, NIH, Roorkee, WIHG, Dehradun, IIT Roorkee, ED, NIDM, New Delhi and Secretary, Uttarakhand SDMA, Dehradun.