Is another Joshimath in making on Chenab banks?

‘Cracks in residential structures in Doda set alarm bells ringing’

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JAMMU — After mass migration from Uttrakhand’s Joshimath due to its feared sinking, similar tragedy almost struck the banks of Jammu and Kashmir’s Chenab River, where 21 residential structures developed cracks in Thathri Tehsil of Doda since December last year. The sudden cracks in residential houses set the alarm bells ringing across the district, triggering panic among the inhabitants.

“As many as 21 structures have developed cracks due to ‘sinking’ of land in Thathri Tehsil of Doda-Kishtwar belt since December 2022. The mountainous region identified as potential hub for generation of hydro-electricity for the country and several projects and other construction activities in geological sensitive zones are going on,” an official told the news agency KNO.

Officials said that the administration is yet to know the cause of land erosion while the families have been shifted to safer locations. They also said that a team from the Geological Survey of India (GSI) has been rushed to the spot.

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District Magistrate Doda, Vishesh Mahajan confirmed that cracks appeared in some structures and people have been evacuated to safer locations. “Yes, cracks have appeared in some structures,” Visheshpal Mahajan, District Magistrate Doda, told KNO.

He said, “We have shifted families to the temporarily established relief camps and the GSI team is also pressed in service to ascertain the cause of the sinking of land.”

Director, Geology and Mining, J&K, O P Bhagat said district administration has approached them following which a team is being constituted to visit the spot.

Meanwhile, Member, District Development Council (DDC), territorial constituency Thathri, Sandeep Manhas said, “I have visited the spot and found cracks have appeared in nearly 19 houses, mosques and madrassas.”

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“The land is sinking but confirmed reasons are not yet known,” said Manhas. “The residents are in panic and have vacated their houses. The administration has been already informed and they are looking into the matter.”

According to officials, the cracks appeared in December last in a house and gradually aggravated.

Earlier, mass migrations was reported from Uttrakhand’s Joshimath town which sank by about 9 cm between April and November 2022 and from December 27, 2022, to January 8, 2023, it further sank, by about 5.4 cm.

The experts blamed uncontrolled construction in eco-sensitive zones as the main reason for the destruction.

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