Fear and foreboding in Joshimath
The human settlements in the Himalayan region in Joshimath have seen wide cracks in their houses, roads, etc. forcing people to move into safer regions.
- Joshimath is a pilgrimage town in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district with a population of around 22,000 people and with approximately 3,800 large and small residential structures.
- Recently, cracks on walls and floors have been developed on the houses, roads, etc. due to the subsidence of land and soil creeping.
Reasons for the Soil creep and subsidence:
- Natural Reasons: The Joshimath town is founded over the Himalayan regions, which is consistently affected by the earthquakes resulting in disasters like landslides.
- Anthropogenic Reasons: Joshimath was a landslide-affected area, and hence it was not recommended that a township be built here. No boulders were supposed to be removed either by digging or blasting, plantation be done on hill slopes and no trees cut, and that there be no mining within a radius of 5 km.
- Land subsidence in Uttarakhand’s Joshimath town is due to a combination of factors including improper drainage systems, construction on unstable land mass without adequate checks, and deforestation.