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Demolition Resumes; Gag Order After ISRO Shares Reports

UTTARAKHAND: Terrified people are compelled to leave their homes with a heavy heart as authorities continued evacuation. Joshimath amidst evacuation received fresh snowfall today. The demolition work began after a pause.

A day after an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) report revealed that Uttarakhand’s Joshimath saw a rapid sinking of 5.4 cm in just 12 days, the National Disaster Management Authority has barred government institutions from interacting with the media and sharing data on social media regarding ground subsidence. It said the organisations’ “own interpretations” of data are creating confusion.

“It is observed that various government institutions are releasing data related to the subject matter in social media platform, and also they are interacting with media with their own interpretation of the situation. It is creating confusion not only among affected residents but also among citizens of the country,” the NDMA letter said, adding that the issue was highlighted during a meeting chaired by Union Home Minister on January 12.

According to India’s National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), the land subsidence was slow between April and November 2022, during which Joshimath had sunk by 8.9 cm. But between December 27, 2022 and January 8, 2023, the intensity of land subsidence increased and the town sank by 5.4 cm in these 12 days. The satellite images show that the Joshimath-Auli road is also going to collapse due to the land subsidence. Crown of the subsidence is located near Joshimath-Auli road at a height of 2180 m, NRSC said.

Meanwhile, the resettlement and rehabilitation package for the people affected in subsidence-hit Joshimath is being prepared keeping in mind the interests of stakeholders, an official said on Saturday.

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