Cracks now in houses in Joshimath ‘safe zone’ | News from India

DEHRADUN: Several houses in three neighborhoods affected by subsidence Joshimath cities, which were previously under “green zone” and considered safe by experts, have now started to develop cracks. In places, the existing cracks have widened, locals said on Monday. The recent bout of rain has added to the problem.
Narendra Tamtaa resident of Gandhinagar in Joshimath whose house was green-zoned during the initial inspection by a team of experts from the Central Building Research Institute, told TOI: ‘New cracks have appeared in my house and existing ones they widened in two weeks.After noticing new cracks,I had submitted an application to the tehsil office following which a new investigation was conducted by a team from the district administration.They said these cracks are not serious.
Faced with a similar situation, Singhdhar resident Mohan Singh Shah stressed that he and his wife have returned to his “cracked” home. “Existing cracks have widened in our house and we live in constant fear… This is largely due to the constant rains,” Shah said.
Some of the affected residents had recently written to SDM Kumkum Joshi of Joshimath and asked for the intervention of the administration in the matter.
Atul Sati, coordinator of Joshimath Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, a citizens’ collective, meanwhile said, “We have received complaints of new cracks from nearly a dozen residents mainly from Marwari, Singhdhar and Gandhinagar in Joshimath and have reported them to the district administration. Our fear is that the number could be higher”.
Following the “soil seepage” problem a few months ago, experts had warned that rains could trigger further subsidence in affected parts of the city and therefore regular monitoring was needed. Sati added: “Now, the technical and scientific experts must find out if the recent rainy spell is behind these new cracks.”
City Council President, Shailendra Panwarhe told TOI on Monday: ‘These cracks are still emerging in parts of the city. We have asked the government to conduct a new investigation into places that have reported new cracks.”
According to official records, 868 houses have reported “mild to severe cracks” so far, while data provided by the Chamoli district administration shows that “181 houses are under the danger zone” in Joshimath. Around 300 families were initially evacuated from their homes and moved to government-run shelters, where the deadline to stay was recently extended until May 31 after concerned families said they had returned to their dilapidated homes.


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