After the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) released satellite images of Joshimath town in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand saying that the town sank by around 5 cm in just 12 days due to a possible land subsidence event, Uttarakhand minister Dhan Singh Rawat said that the premier space agency has not officially anything on the current Joshimath issue.
“I have spoken with the ISRO Director. They have accepted that this is not their official take. They will give their official take today on the current situation,” Rawat said, as quoted by ANI.
The temple town of Joshimath, gateway to pilgrimage sites like Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib, is facing nature’s wrath as the town has been declared a land-subsidence hit zone.
ISRO released satellite images of Joshimath town, taken from the Cartosat-2S satellite, that show that it sank 5.4 cm in just 12 days, reported PTI.
The preliminary study by ISRO’s National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) said the land subsidence was slow between April and November 2022, during which Joshimath had sunk by 8.9 cm. However, between December 27, 2022 and January 8 this year, the intensity of land subsidence increased and it sank by 5.4 cm in these 12 days.
The NRSC report said that the real extent of subsidence was confined to the central part of Joshimath town, adding that a subsidence zone resembling a generic landslide shape was identified – tapered top and fanning out at base. It also noted that crown of the subsidence was located near Joshimath-Auli road at a height of 2,180 metres.
The images show the Army Helipad and Narsingh Temple as the prominent landmarks in the subsidence zone.
Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami on Friday said that a total of 99 families gave been shifted to safer locations so far and Rs 1.5 lakh compensation has been given to the families so far. He added that no houses have been demolished so far.
“We have shifted 99 families from Joshimath so far and Rs 1.5 lakh ex-gratia being given. We have not demolished any houses so far, survey team is present over there. Assessment for rehabilitation underway and we are making key decisions for future,” Dhami said.
On Thursday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah assessed the situation in Joshimath in a meeting which also had the presence of union ministers Nitin Gadkari, R K Singh, Bhupendra Yadav, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and top officials.
Uttarakhand Disaster Management Secretary Ranjit Kumar Sinha said yesterday that a total of 169 families consisting of 589 members have so far been shifted to relief centres.