Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday expressed concern over the plight of people in Uttarakhand’s Joshimath, where cracks have appeared in hundreds of houses, and asked the state government to take care of the affected populace and ensure their safety in this cold weather.
”The pictures coming from Joshimath in Uttarakhand are horrifying… I am deeply disturbed. Wide cracks in houses, seepage of water, cracks in the ground and subsidence of roads are a matter of great concern… A landslide caused the Bhagwati temple to collapse,” he said in a Facebook post in Hindi.
”Going against nature by continuous digging and unplanned construction on the mountains has led to the people of Joshimath facing a terrible crisis today,” he also said.
He called upon the Uttarakhand government to ”take care of people in this harsh weather and arrange for their immediate rehabilitation and ensure the safety of the temple”.
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”In this bitter cold, this calamity has taken away the homes of people. I appeal to all the Congress workers there to help the people at the earliest and take them to safe places,” the former Congress president said.
Joshimath, the gateway to famous pilgrimage sites like Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib and international skiing destination Auli, is facing a major challenge due to land subsidence, Joshimath is sinking gradually with huge cracks developing in houses, roads and fields there. Many houses have suffered subsidence, locals said.
Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has ordered an immediate evacuation of 600 families living in houses at risk. He visited the town on Saturday to assess the situation on the ground. He also met the affected people and assured them of all help.
The central government on Friday set up a panel to conduct a ”rapid study” of the occurrence of land subsidence and its impact in Joshimath in Uttrakhand.