Joshimath: While the cracks that have appeared in the buildings of Joshimath are widening, the administration has been facing the opposition of the affected people in the demolition drive.
In a meeting between the administration and the locals, it was announced that a compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh would be provided to the affected families, which was refused by the locals.
Hotel Mount View and Malari Inn were scheduled to be demolished on Tuesday.
T Singh Rana, the owner of Malari Inn and his family have been sitting outside the premises and raising demands for compensation.
As soon as the officials reached the spot, the hotel owners started opposing the action and alleged that the economic evaluation of their structures had not been done.
They added that no notice had been given to them by the administration.
In view of the escalating protests, the administration had to step back and postpone the drive to Wednesday.
Disaster Management Secretary Dr Ranjit Sinha said that cranes were needed to demolish tall buildings which could not be arranged in the area.
He informed that a crane had been sent from Dehradun, which would arrive on Wednesday.
Secretary to CM, Meenakshi Sundaram said that the drive could not start on the scheduled day since the CBRI team got delayed in reaching the spot.
Chief Secretary Dr S.S. Sandhu, in a meeting on Tuesday, instructed that the affected buildings which may pose a threat to life should be demolished on a priority basis.
723 buildings declared unsafe, 86 marked with red crosses:
The number of unsafe buildings in the holy city has reached 723, with 45 identified as unsafe on Tuesday. Out of these, 86 buildings have been declared completely unsafe and marked with red crosses.
Their demolition process is said to start soon.
The district administration has so far temporarily moved out 462 families. On Tuesday, 381 people were shifted to safer places while 81 families had been shifted earlier.
A total of 344 rooms have been acquired by the administration in various institutions and buildings to accommodate 1,425 people.
The Home Ministry team headed by the Border Management Secretary reached the city on Tuesday to assess the situation.
Apart from this, teams of central agencies including the National Geophysical Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Central Building Research Institute and the National Institute of Disaster Management have been camping in the area.
Chamoli District Magistrate Himanshu Khurana said that the decision to demolish the hotels immediately had been taken under the Disaster Act, failing which the surrounding residential buildings, highway and the drinking water and electricity lines might get damaged.
In areas vulnerable to landslides, the administration has instructed the Energy Corporation to remove power lines, under which connections of 20 unsafe buildings were disconnected on Tuesday.
In view of the crisis , Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has donated a month’s salary to the CM Relief Fund, which will be used to help the affected people.