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Locals Protest In Joshimath Against Slow Pace Of Efforts To Save Town

The Joshimath Bachao Sangharsh Samiti had given the call for the rally to press for demands of permanent rehabilitation and compensation to affected families.

Joshimath land subsidence
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Hundreds of affected people descended on the streets of subsidence-hit Joshimath on Friday to take part in a protest rally against alleged slow pace of efforts to save the sinking town.

The Joshimath Bachao Sangharsh Samiti had given the call for the rally to press for demands of permanent rehabilitation and compensation to affected families.

"The urgency necessary to save Joshimath is still missing. Permanent rehabilitation and compensation on the lines of Badrinath and the scrapping of the NTPC project for good are some of the issues which remain unresolved," Joshimath Bachao Sangharsh Samiti spokesperson Kamal Raturi said.

The protesters raised slogans as they took out the rally from the Tapovan taxi stand, crossed through the main road and gathered at the Ved Vedang ground in Singhdhar ward.

Local people allege that the digging of a 12-km tunnel for the National Thermal Power Corporation's 520 MW Tapovan Vishnugad hydroelectric project exacerbated the subsidence in Joshimath. The NTPC has denied any link between the project and the subsidence, saying the tunnel is over a kilometre under the ground and not below Joshimath.

Briefing the media on the relief efforts underway in Joshimath, Secretary, Disaster Management, Ranjit Kumar Sinha said the number of houses that have developed cracks stands at 863, while the water discharge in the JP colony area has reduced to 171 LPM.

Around 250 families have been evacuated to temporary relief centres and Rs 3.36 crore distributed among the affected people as interim relief, he said.

Construction of model pre-fabricated shelters continues on the land of the horticulture department in Joshimath, Sinha said, adding it is likely to be completed soon.

Land development work is also in progress for pre-fabricated transition centres in Dhak village of Chamoli district.

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