Panic heightened among the residents of Uttarakhand's Joshimath as cracks developed in hundreds of houses and other structures due to the soil shifting in the holy town.
Many houses have reached the verge of collapse while a temple here collapsed on Friday. The only good thing is that there was no loss of life in the temple collapse. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami held a high-level meeting at the Secretariat on Friday to set up a rehabilitation centre where the people of Joshimath can be shifted immediately.
Terrified and scared, many people have left their homes. At the same time, people are being shifted to municipal buildings, gurudwaras and schools by the administration.
Big cracks have appeared in many houses of Joshimath's Sunil Ward, Manohar Bagh Ward, and Gandhi Ward. Along with this, the residential colony of Jaypee Group located in Marwari has also come under threat. Water is seeping from the wall of some structures in Jaypee premises.
If it rains even a little, water filling the big cracks in the ground can cause havoc.
Chief Minister Dhami held a high-level meeting at the Secretariat on Friday to review the current situation in Joshimath. The meeting was attended by Secretary, Disaster Management; Commissioner Garhwal Mandal; and District Magistrate.
In the meeting, Dhami directed the officials to set up a large temporary rehabilitation centre at a safe place with immediate effect where the people of Joshimath can be shifted. He also asked the officials to find a safe place for permanent rehabilitation at other places including Pipalkoti and Gauchar.
Apart from this, the Chief Minister also gave instructions to prepare sector and zonal wise plans in Joshimath. He further directed the officials to vacate the danger zone immediately, so that no untoward incident could happen.
SDRF IG Riddhim Agarwal said that the SDRF has also been deployed in the town. About 50 SDRF personnel are deployed in Joshimath as the first team. Along with this, the surrounding four posts of SDRF have been asked to remain on alert. Within an hour, all the jawans will get involved in relief and rescue work.
The Chamoli district administration has stopped NTPC's project, Helang Marwari Bypass and all other construction work going on in Joshimath till further orders. Whereas, Garhwal Divisional Commissioner Sushil Kumar, Disaster Management Secretary Ranjit Kumar Sinha and a team of expert scientists are surveying the rift-affected areas.
The Chief Minister will visit Joshimath on Saturday to take stock of the situation. At the same time, former Chief Minister Harish Rawat will also be visiting the town.