Imagine you are relaxing at home with family and relatives and celebrating new year and suddenly you hear a loud noise. Normally people would think it could be a harbinger or war like situation or any social political condition. On 2nd January, 2023 a 52 years old man woke up at middle of night with a thunderous sound. He find huge crack in his room. It was not only in his room but similar cracks were found in other 9 rooms of his 11 room house. It was quite worrisome for him, he sifted his entire family to the other 2 rooms. But that 2 rooms is not safe anymore.
Similar cracks have been found in other houses of the area. Around 700 houses in Joshimath developed such huge cracks. Actually the entire is sinking into the ground. Joshimath which serves as the winter residence of lord Badrinath is sinking. The cracks were result of the sinking ground and can be seen at many houses. These cracks have appeared due to continous land slides and subsidence. Approximately 17000 residents have been shifted to safer places.
Joshimath is an important place in Uttakahand state of India. Located at a height of 1800 meter in Chamoli. It has a population of approx 23000. It is one of the important pligrimage site for Hindus. Every year lacs of devotees visit this place to offer prayer to lord bardrinath. Which is located at 45 km from Joshimath. Joshimath is also last village on indo - tibetan border and is considered to be a good place for skiing. Many traits were seen as skiing site. The government is planning to make it an International skiing site to woo tourism.
As the location is so important, over the past few decades, large amount of construction work were carried out in the town. It is claimed the the city comes into existence 100 of years ago, because of an earth quake nearby that caused landslides. Many rocks and boulders tumbled down from top and settled in this area. Over the years the rocks stablises and the city were made over it. But the problem, was this made the land not suitable for construction. Especially for dams and wide roads, highways at this area. Because, construction on such large scale require carrying drilling and explosive in the area. This may further disturb the foundation structure of the area.
According , to the seismic zonation map of India, Joshimath area fall under zone 5,which are very vulnerable for earth quakes. These types of cracks are not new to area. Such cracks had appeared in the area before as well. But now every second home has huge cracks on walls and that made living in the place very dangerous. There were already blame game started for thr cracks. The government is blame thr locals for inadequate construction, while the locals were blaming the government for so many unnecessary development work in the area. However the danger has been sighted over a decade ago. The hydro electric project carried out in the area is considered to be thr main reason for such sinking. It was believed that the building of hydro electric project made a huge tunnel beneath the josimath whichhas now started to degrade.
Scientist have also comes up with many other reason, like land subsidence which is the result of degrading water body level in the ground level. Well whatever be the actual reason. This is purely a man made error and what we called as problem of sustainable growth.
This is a good alarming sign, and human should take a lead out of this man made cause that made a a esutiful city to sink. Indian space organisation already confirmed in a report that Joshimath has sanked 9 Cm in last 6 month which is very alarming and need to put focus to save our environment and nature.
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I hope everyone is fine there
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