Demolition of unsafe buildings resumes in Joshimath

Dehradun, Jan 21 (PTI) Demolition of ‘unsafe’ buildings in subsidence-hit Joshimath in Uttarakhand resumed on Saturday as the weather improved.

Snowfall and rain in various parts of Uttarakhand on Friday had intensified the cold, adding to the woes of people of Joshimath living in temporary relief camps.

“Dismantling of unsafe hotels and houses in Joshimath has been temporarily halted due to bad weather,” Chamoli District Magistrate Himanshu Khurana had said.

According to officials, 849 houses in Joshimath have developed cracks following land subsidence and 269 families have been moved to temporary relief centres.

On Saturday, drilling machines and bulldozers were back to dismantle hotels — Malari Inn and Mount View — and the PWD’s inspection bungalow as weather cleared in the morning.

“Providing relief to affected people in Joshimath is among the top priorities of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami at present,” an official release here said.

Adequate arrangements have been made at temporary relief centres for the affected people to protect them from cold.

Heaters and blowers have been supplied to 76 families, thermal wears to 110 people, hot water bottles to 175, woollen caps to 516, warm socks to 280 and shawls to 196 people, it said.

Foodgrain kits have been supplied to 771 people, blankets to 601 and daily use kits to 114, the release added.

Joshimath, the gateway to famous pilgrimage sites like Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib and international skiing destination Auli, appears on the edge of a precipice with gaping cracks appearing on buildings, roads and public facilities. The state government faces an uphill task providing relief and rehabilitating the affected families in brutal winter.