A day after three houses that developed cracks collapsed, a team of scientists from the Geological Survey of India (GSI) visited the Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir to follow up on the issue of land subsidence.
The team visited after cracks appeared in a cluster of 21 houses within the Thathri tehsil of the Doda district. After cracks appeared in some buildings authorities evacuated the affected families and shifted them to safe places.
"Although 20 houses and two structures have developed cracks, we have shifted 300 souls to safer places as precautionary measures", Tehsildar Thathri Sahil Choudhary told The International Bussiness Times. He said that authorities are keeping a strict vigil on the situation and every possible step would be taken for the safety of the people. Tehsildar further informed that three houses collapsed during the last 24 hours.
Sub-Divisional Magistrate Thathri Athar Amin Zargar informed that 22 structures were affected due to the sinking of soil in the area". He, however, said that only a limited area is affected but authorities are continuously watching the situation.
The structures damaged so far include residential buildings, a mosque, and a madrasa. Besides those whose houses have become unsafe, scores of families have shifted either to a relief camp set up in a government school or moved in with relatives elsewhere.
Families living in the village have been shifted to safer locations. The J&K administration has constructed makeshift tin sheds for villagers but the villagers say they need alternative land to live in.
Relief camp set up for affected families
After shifting some families to safer places authorities have set up a relief camp for the affected people.
"I am in touch with Deputy Commissioner Doda, Vishesh Mahajan. A Relief Camp has been set up for the residents of the affected houses. Meanwhile, a Geological Survey team is already on its way to the affected spot to study the underlying causative factors. Short and long-term remedial measures, as required, will be undertaken", Union Minister and Lok Sabha member from Udhampur-Doda constituency Dr. Jitendra Singh said.
Deputy Commission Doda Vishesh Paul Mahajan said that the GSI team is on the task and has taken samples, they will give us details as to what is actually happening here. Actions to be taken accordingly under Disaster management.
Cracks developed due to the sinking of land
As per experts, the cracks were developed because parts of the land had appeared to have sunk, triggering a crisis that resembles the situation in another Himalayan town, Joshimath in Uttrakhand.
Reports said that the team of geologists that visited the area told that the entire area is sinking due to varied factors. New habitations have come up over the years and water has kept seeping into the ground.
As of now, 22 structures were affected and three houses have collapsed in Nai Basti village.
Administrator keeping watch, now Joshimath-like situation: LG
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said the Jammu and Kashmir administration was keeping a close watch on the situation. He, however, denied the situation was akin to the land subsidence witnessed in Joshimath.
"All the affected houses have been evacuated and there is no need to create much hype. The administration is keeping a close eye on the emerging situation and the best possible action will be taken for their rehabilitation," Sinha told reporters on the sidelines of a function at Raj Bhawan here.
Asked if it was a Joshimath-like situation in the affected village, the Lt Governor replied "absolutely not".
I am in touch with DC #Doda, Sh Vishesh Mahajan. A Relief Camp has been set up for the residents of the affected houses. Meanwhile, a Geological Survey team is already on its way to the affected spot to study the underlying causative factors. Short and— Dr Jitendra Singh (@DrJitendraSingh) February 3, 2023