Joshimath: … so are ‘mountains’ dissolving in water, shocking facts in the latest report of experts

The alarming situation of landslide in Joshimath shows that the land here is not in a position to bear the current load. Its scientific reasons have also been confirmed once again.
A recent report by experts submitted to the state government states that the land at Joshimath is made up of debris from landslides.

Historical Faults in existence at the time of origin of the Himalayas:
The shocking thing in the report has also been said that not only is the ground here weak, but the historical fault Main Central Thrust (MCT) that existed at the time of the origin of the Himalayas is also passing beneath it. Due to which geological movement continues here and the already weak surface gets more damaged.

Scientists jointly prepared this report:
The report titled “Geological and Geotechnical Survey of Land Subsidence Areas of Joshimath Town and Surrounding Regions” has analyzed the entire land potential of Joshimath.
This report has been jointly prepared by the scientists of Central Building Research of India, IIT Roorkee, GSI and Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology along with Uttarakhand State Disaster Management Authority.
In this report recently submitted to the government, the nature of the stones of the land of Joshimath has also been told.
It states that the nature of the rocks in the Helang Formation and the Garhwal Groups are the same on both sides of the historical fault line. These stones are quartzite and marble, whose strength is very low. The tendency to dissolve with water is also seen in these stones.
If internal assessment of the land of Joshimath is done, there is a thick layer of loose debris with marble stones on the historical fault line MCT and then the city of Joshimath is situated on top of it.
In the report, this layer of debris has been described as landslide generated. From which it is clear that over time the constructions which were done on the weak ground, have now come in the condition of overburden (burden more than capacity). This is the reason that the land here is sinking and the cracks on the buildings are getting deeper.

Also quoting the Mishra Committee report in 1976:
In the recent report of experts, the Mishra Committee of the year 1976 has also been mentioned. Quoting that report, it has been said that in the past also the possibility of gradual sinking of Joshimath with time was expressed.

It is clear that after the recent report, the government is looking cautious, similar things were mentioned several decades ago.

The problem increased due to blockage of drains:
According to the report of experts, the natural flow of all the drains in Joshimath area has been blocked. Random constructions have been done in the drain area. Due to this, instead of going to the low-lying areas by normal flow, the water is rapidly getting absorbed in the weak ground. Because of this, landslides are getting faster.

The recent report of experts is being acted upon at a rapid pace only when the situation has become critical. If the report of the Mishra Committee had been implemented seriously 47 years ago, the load of concrete on Joshimath could have been reduced. Along with this, concrete steps could have been taken regarding drainage and soil erosion.

Padmabhushan Chandi Prasad Bhatt (renowned environmentalist):
The surface of Joshimath is weak. This has been confirmed in various scientific studies. In such a situation, it is clear that the haphazard construction done on this surface over time has worsened the situation. Construction should be done according to the affordable capacity of the land in Joshimath area. Along with this, the situation can be controlled by improving the drainage system and treating the erosion caused by the river.

Dr Kalachand Sai, Director, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology:
Joshimath is situated in an area with a steep slope. The land here is weak and is prone to earthquakes as well as landslides, floods and heavy rains. Hence, heavy construction should be banned in this area. Because, with the increase in tourism activities, this small town was flooded with commercial and residential construction.
– Dr. Rajendra Doval, Former Director General (Uttarakhand State Council of Science and Technology) and Vice Chairman, Integrated Mountain Initiative India

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