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Joshimath sinking: Fresh cracks appear on Badrinath National Highway as Uttarakhand crisis intensifies

Fresh cracks have appeared on the Badrinath National Highway and its pictures have also come to the fore. Cracks measuring one to two metre long have devloped on the Badrinath National Highway in Joshimath, which is the only road that leads to Badrinath, a place of faith for millions of Hindus. After seeing these cracks, there is an atmosphere of fear among the people of the area and there is a discussion about how this problem will be resolved. District authorities, however, said the cracks aren’t ‘a cause of concern’ and will be repaired before the annual pilgrimage to Badrinath, which usually starts in May.

Over 863 houses of the around 4,500 buildings in Joshimath — known as the gateway to Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib pilgrimage sites — have developed cracks since October 2021. At least 181 of the buildings in the town have been placed in the unsafe zone, and 275 families have been moved out to safer areas, district authorities have informed. A small crack that has appeared on the Badrinath highway is load induced but it isn’t a cause of concern, Chamoli district magistrate Himanshu Khurana said, citing experts of the Central Building Research Institute.

Disaster Management Secretary Ranjit Sinha said that the administration has been keeping a close watch on the land subsidence of the highway. Sinha stated that the concerned agencies had been instructed to repair the road. He said it would be completely repaired before the Char Dham yatra. Repairing the road before the yatra would pose a big challenge for the government.

In view of the cracks, along with the obstruction of the road to Badrinath Dham, the contact of the Indian Army with the China border may also be cut off. After visiting the area, Geologist Prof M.P.S. Bisht said that the cracks’ pattern is parallel. Apart from this, the sinking of the huge stones on the side of the road is also becoming a cause of concern for the government.

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