Joshimath: 44 more buildings develop cracks in 24 hrs, including PWD’s rest house

Joshimath, Jan 16 (IANS) At least 44 more buildings have developed cracks in the last 24 hours in Joshimath, including the five-room rest house of the Public Works Department which is in a dilapidated condition.

The labourers in the premises were shifted to a safer place when more cracks appeared on the night of January 14.

The cracks in the banquet hall of a hotel owned by the former Head Priest of Badrinath, Bhuwan Chandra Uniyal have widened.

PWD’s Executive Engineer Surendra Patwal informed that cracks had increased in several houses in Singhdhaar ward and Manoharbaag.

Suraj Kaparwan, a resident of Manoharbaag ward, said that the cracks in the fields were widening.

So far, cracks have appeared in 826 buildings in the city area.

On Sunday, 17 more buildings were declared unsafe by the CBRI team and were marked with red crosses.

District Magistrate Himanshu Khurana said that the cracks increased at the same places where they appeared earlier and no new cracks had been detected.

Significantly, the eight families who were made to evacuate their houses situated behind Hotel Mount View in view of the danger, have returned home alleging that the government was paying them less compensation as compared to the hotel owners.

They accused the government of discrimination and said that they had not received any document from the administration and that their houses had not been marked with a red cross.

They demanded a permanent solution from the administration.

Cracks have appeared in at least 826 structures of the city, out of which 165 have been declared unsafe.

The Power Transmission Corporation of Uttarakhand Ltd (PTCUL) has started searching for a suitable place to shift its 66 KV sub-station located in Marwari, after it was affected by land subsidence in the city.

Energy Corporation Director ML Prasad, Superintending Engineer SS Kanwar, Executive Engineer Amit Saxena and SDO VK Jain inspected the affected area and took stock of the power lines.

On the other hand, the work of laying a new power line has been started by removing the older one around Hotel Mount View and Malari Inn to ensure that the city’s power supply is not disrupted.

A new transformer has been installed near the police station in the area.

Energy Corporation’s Executive Engineer Amit Saxena said that two 100 KV transformers in Sunil Ward have been replaced and the 20 electric poles that were damaged by the subsidence have been fixed.

Along with this, the demolition work of both Malari Inn and Hotel Mount View is underway.

CBRI Chief Dr. DP Kanungo said that the process may take around 15 more days.

Kanungo added that PWD and SDRF teams were also present at the spot to ensure the safety of the surrounding structures.

He added that the CBRI team had been installing crack meters in the houses to assess the extent of damage.

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