Why Is Uttarakhand’s Holy Town ‘Joshimath’ Sinking?
Joshimath Sinking Crisis: Joshimath, the holy town is currently sinking, which has caused many buildings & infrastructures to develop cracks in their foundations.
The government’s confirmation that Joshimath, a sacred town in Uttarakhand, is truly sinking has exacerbated the problem there and forced thousands of residents to leave their homes.
The family have now been relocated to secure areas while Center works to address the problem.
Huge cracks were identified on the walls and floors of homes, as well as significant fissures in the foundations of infrastructural projects like roadways, during the expert examination of Joshimath.
People are now blaming infrastructure projects and climate change for this catastrophe.
The director of the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Kalachand Sain, identified three crucial aspects that contributed to Joshimath’s ground almost collapsing as the main causes of the problem.
Joshimath’s weak foundations, which resulted from its development on landslide debris left over from an earthquake well over a century ago, its location in seismic zone V, which is more earthquake-prone, and gradual weathering and water percolation, which over time weaken the cohesive strength of the rocks, are the three main factors.
Top 5 Reasons Why Uttarakhand’s Joshimath Is Sinking
1. NTPC Hydro Power Project
One of the factors contributing to the instability of the Joshimath surface is the NTPC Hydro Power project.
The earth and river of Joshimath have been affected as a result of the 520 MW run-of-river hydroelectric project known as the Tapovan Vishnugad Hydro Power Plant.
2. High Footfall
According to experts, Joshimath’s building and tourism industries are two of the main causes of the town’s decline.
The town receives thousands of visitors each year, which has caused instability in the landslide-prone ground.
3. Massive Construction Activities
A lot of development, including an increase in the number of hotels and restaurants, has resulted from Joshimath’s growing population and tourism, which also spurs the creation of new projects and building activities.
4. A Landslide Zone
Joshimath was once a region prone to landslides and earthquakes, hence most of the town was built on landslide debris, leaving the surface covered in smooth, worn rocks and loose soil.
5. Natural Seismic Zone V
According to experts, Joshimath is situated in seismic zone V, which makes it more vulnerable to earthquakes in addition to continuous weathering and water percolation that over time weaken the cohesive strength of the rocks.