Joshimath Crisis: Cabinet Secy holds meeting, says evacuation immediate priority
Two days after the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) took stock of the situation prevailing in Uttarakhand's Joshimath town due to land subsidence, the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba reviewed the situation on Tuesday.
Gauba, official sources said, stressed at the meeting that the immediate priority should be complete and safe evacuation of all the residents in the affected zone, and precedence should be given to demolition of the vulnerable structures in a safe manner.
He also directed that all the studies and investigations related to geotechnical, geophysical and hydrological aspects, should be completed in a coordinated and time-bound manner.
Gauba assured Uttarakhand Chief Secretary S.S. Sandhu that all the Central agencies will continue to be available for any necessary assistance.
The meeting took place even as evacuation operations in Joshimath are in full swing, with people of the town being shifted to safer places.
Sandhu briefed the NCMC about the current situation in Joshimath and informed that the residents of the severely-damaged houses are being shifted to safer places.
Relief shelters have been identified in Joshimath and Pipalkoti to accommodate the affected families. Appropriate compensation and relief measures are being provided by the state government, official sources said.
Sandhu also said that the operation of Joshimath-Auli ropeway has been discontinued. Construction works in and around the Joshimath municipality area have also been stopped till further orders.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed to help the district administration in its relief and rehabilitation efforts.
The Member Secretary of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) informed the NCMC that a team of experts from CBRI, GSI, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, NIDM and National Institute of Hydrology visited the affected areas on January 6 and 7 to assess the situation. The team also interacted with the district administration to understand its requirements.
Union Home Secretary A.K. Bhalla apprised the committee that a high-level central team from the Home Ministry led by Secretary, Border Management, is currently in Joshimath to assess the situation.
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