- Sputnik India, 1920, 09.12.2022
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Joshimath Land Subsidence Victims Protest Govt's Failure to Tackle Issues

© AP Photo / Rajesh Kumar SinghA laborer takes a break in between demolition of a residential building which has developed cracks in Joshimath, in India's Himalayan mountain state of Uttarakhand, Jan. 19, 2023.
A laborer takes a break in between demolition of a residential building which has developed cracks in Joshimath, in India's Himalayan mountain state of Uttarakhand, Jan. 19, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 12.05.2023
Since last December, several regions including Joshimath, Karnaprayag and others have witnessed deep cracks on roads and in local buildings due to land subsidence, forcing residents to relocate to safer zones.
The Joshimath Bachao Sangharsh Samiti (JBSS), a group of local activists who first raised land subsidence issues in Uttarakhand's hilly region, took to the streets on Thursday night.
Carrying torches, they protested against the government's negligence in addressing their issues following damage caused to their houses in the recent land subsidence.
The protest sought to draw the attention of the state chief and the authorities towards their longstanding demands, which include the rehabilitation of all affected families.

Citing the construction and development work as the reason that caused the land subsidence in the region, the locals also demanded the cancellation of the Helang-Marwari bypass project and the $677m (INR 29.78bn) Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project by National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC).

In January this year, after protests by local residents, all the construction projects have been halted by the district administration.
The Tapovan Vishnugad Hydropower Plant, being constructed on the Dhauliganga River in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, is a 520MW run-of-river project that is expected to generate approximately 2,558 GWh of electricity annually.
Whereas the Helang-Marwari bypass road, a 300-metre-long bridge that aims to shorten the distance to the popular Hindu shrine Badrinath by 30 km, is to be built just below Joshimath between Helang and Marwari under the bypass road.
However, locals agitated for nearly a year against the route, which resulted in the shelving of the central government’s INR 120 Billion ($1.46 million) Char Dham roads project.
During the protest march, the JBSS issued a stern warning to the government, demanding immediate action on their grievances.
Last month, the JBSS committee and the locals called off its 107-day-long protest after State Chief Pushkar Singh Dhami assured concrete action would be taken on the 11-point demands.

“Though 22 days have passed since we got the assurance from the chief minister, no action has been initiated so far. We are left with no option but to resume our agitation,” Joshimath Bachao Sangharsh Samiti convenor Atul Sati told the Indian press.

From simplifying the process of compensating those affected to publicizing the report of a joint study conducted by various leading scientific institutions on the landslide crisis in Joshimath, the committee tabled its demands in front of the government.
However, Sati told India’s media, "The government has not fulfilled even the basic demand of simplifying the documentation process for compensation, which poses challenges for the affected families".

"Not even 20% of those affected have received compensation. Land erosion is also continuing. The worst is yet to come as the monsoon is approaching,” Sati concluded.

People walk on Kan Thar Yar beach near Gwa township, on May 11, 2023 after Cyclone Mocha, the Bay of Bengal's first cyclone of the year formed. - Sputnik India, 1920, 12.05.2023
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