Joshimath Crises: Satellite Images Reveal 5.4 cm of Rapid Land Subsidence

UTTARAKHAND: Satellite images of the sinking town reveal that the town has subsided by 5.4 cm in 12 days between 27 December and January 8th. The images were released by the National Remote Sensing Centre of the Indian Space

A 12-kilometer-long tunnel connected to the Tapovan Vishnugad hydroelectric project is 1 kilometer away from Joshimath town and at least a kilometer below the ground, state-owned NTPC has told the power ministry explaining its project has no role in the subsidence of the region.

On January 10, the Union Power Ministry summoned NTPC officials to review the subsidence incident in Joshimath. A day later, India’s largest electricity-generating company wrote to the ministry explaining its position.

A head trace tunnel (HRT), which connects water intake at the dam site to the powerhouse for generation of the Tapovan Vishnugad hydro electricity project, “is not passing under Joshimath town,” it wrote.

The construction work of the 4×130 MW Tapovan Vishnugad project started in November 2006. The project includes the construction of a concrete barrage at Tapovan (15 km upstream of Joshimath town).

NTPC also told the power ministry that there was no active construction work happening in the area for about two years.

So far, 169 families in the town have been shifted to temporary shelters as underground development activities. landslides and other related factors have led to major cracks in the houses in the town.

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