A high-level meeting called by the Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday afternoon decided that the immediate priority in Joshimath, which has been affected by land subsidence, should be the safety of the people who live there. The state government should also establish a clear and continuous communication channel with residents, according to senior state government officials.
Senior Central government and Uttarakhand state officials, as well as top officers from agencies such as the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the Geological Survey of India (GSI), and the National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), were told in a meeting chaired by P K Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, to take a “whole of government” approach and work together to contain the situation, conduct continuous seismic monitoring, and prepare a report, carry out continuous seismic monitoring, develop a time-bound reconstruction plan, and create a risk-averse urban development plan.
Affected families are being relocated to safe locations, according to a PMO statement, adding that Prime Minister Modi is concerned and has met with Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami to assess the situation.
Joshimath was declared a landslide and subsidence-hit zone, so relief and rescue efforts were stepped up. Given the region’s fragile ecosystem, the Centre also asked experts to prepare short and long-term conservation and rehabilitation plans.
The Union Cabinet Secretary, Union Home Secretary, other senior Central government officials, and NDMA members attended the PMO-called meeting.
The Director General of Police of Uttarakhand, the Chief Secretary, Joshimath district officials, and experts from IIT Roorkee, the National Institute of Disaster Management, and the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology all participated via video conferencing.
“In the meeting, Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand Sukhbir Singh Sandhu informed the officials that state and district officials with the support of Central experts have assessed the situation on ground and found that a strip of land with a width of around 350 metres is affected.
He also stated that affected families are being relocated to safe locations, and the state government has sanctioned Rs 1 crore from the CM’s Relief Fund, which will be used primarily to assist affected families with rent,” an official said.