Ojaank IAS Academy

OJAANK IAS ACADEMY

๐ˆ๐๐๐Ž๐•๐€๐“๐ˆ๐Ž๐ ๐ˆ๐ ๐„๐ƒ๐”๐‚๐€๐“๐ˆ๐Ž๐

OJAANK IAS ACADEMY

Joshimath Crisis

Share with

Joshimath Crisis

According to recent events in Joshimath, the Himalayan town may be on the edge of extinction. If the crisis is not resolved quickly, other important areas in Uttarakhand, such as Mussoorie, Nainital, and Dharchula, may suffer a similar predicament.

Joshimath is a hill station in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district. It is a major pilgrimage site and is located on the way to three other important pilgrimage sites: Badrinath, Kedarnath, and Hemkund Sahib.

A recent ground subsidence occurrence caused fractures to appear in over 600 homes in the town. Likewise, the roads and farmland were devastated. The sinking is also affecting the town’s infrastructure, such as high tension electricity lines. The trees in the neighbourhood, especially the apple trees, have begun to fall. Following the catastrophe, the people of the town were forced to flee their homes.

Anthropogenic activities have played a significant part in Joshimath’s instability. The region has experienced an uncontrolled proliferation of hotels and other tourism infrastructure. The tourist inflow, along with population pressure, is also adding to the instability.

The National Thermal Power Corporation’s Tapovan Vishnugad Hydro Power Project, which is being built on the Dhauliganga River in Chamoli district, is being accused as one of the causes leading to the current subsidence. It is estimated to produce more than 2.5 TWh per year.

While the NTPC has denied any involvement in the current incidents, the Tapovan project has a history of upsetting the region’s intricate hydrogeology. According to Garhwal University experts, tunnelling operations fractured an aquifer in 2009, which is predicted to have long-term implications.

In 2012, another aquifer was breached. Vast-scale de-watering on such a large scale raises the danger of land subsidence. Land subsidence occurs when considerable amounts of groundwater are drained from certain rock types (such as fine-grained sedimentary rocks). This is because water helps to hold the earth up, and when it is withdrawn, the land weakens and falls.

The town is in seismic zone V, which means it is extremely vulnerable to earthquakes. Tremors are common in the area, and the top soil has become unstable.

Joshimath is located on a historic landslide zone, on a layer of sand and stone, as opposed to the main rock, according to the 1976 Mishra Committee. As a result, the area is unsuitable for a settlement in the first place. Vibrations from high traffic and other anthropogenic activities would destabilise the region in addition to water percolation and progressive weathering of the ground.

Thousands of lives are jeopardised as a result of such widespread infrastructure destruction. For example, the Joshimath subsidence endangered 3,000 people. While individuals were removed from the houses due to safety concerns (that the structures would collapse), they were left unsheltered in the open throughout a cold winter.

This is not a new development. An experienced team discovered similar fissures in numerous areas in Chamoli in August 2022. It identified unscientific tourist activities as a major contributor and advocated for better drainage and erosion control along the Alaknanda River, particularly in the section north of Joshimath.

The recent subsidence in Joshimath appears to be the second key turning point in Uttarakhand’s catastrophe history, following the 2013 Kedarnath floods caused by cloudbursts. However, the current disaster is the product of apathy, as it is commonly recognised that the region and its nature are extremely vulnerable. Reports outlining the characteristics of the area have been accessible since 1976. Similar problems have been raised in subsequent investigations. These reports have gone unnoticed.

The residents of Joshimath are now protesting. They are requesting that the government provide them with lasting rehabilitation. They are demanding that all building operations in the vicinity, including the Char Dham Yatra project, be halted immediately.

For the time being, the government is right to prioritise the protection of the inhabitants. Scientists from the Geological Survey of India, the National Disaster Management Authority, and the National Institute of Hydrology have been tasked with developing a “risk-sensitive urban development plan” for the region.

The first step toward reimagining development in Himalayan nations is to revisit and respect previous research and reports on the region. The way forward involves correct micro-zonation as well as advancements in construction materials and technologies, all while being humble in our relationships with nature.

The Joshimath dilemma exemplifies our failure to respect the unique qualities of the Himalayan system in our quest of economic growth. The current occurrence might serve as a reminder of the necessity of long-term growth.


Share with

Leave a Comment


เคนเคฟเค‚เคฆเฅ€ เคฎเฅ‡เค‚ เคฆเฅ‡เค–เฅ‡เค‚


Videos


Register

Whatsapp

error: Content is protected !!