Contradicting the reports regarding the sinking of land on the bank of the river Chenab in the Thathri area of the Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir, geologists, who visited the affected village, observed that there was a problem of "sliding not sinking".

Ruling out the theory of "land sinking" in the Nai Basti village of Thathri area of Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir where 22 structures developed cracks, Geologists said that it is "the problem is locally created and the area is sliding rather than sinking".

Eminent geologist and retired Professor of Jammu University, G M Bhat, who along with a geologist and some research scholars visited the affected village to ascertain the reason for cracks in some buildings, observed that the "area is not sinking".

The geologists suggested that the government should immediately fix the developing cracks that emerged in the area to avoid further damage.

Cracks in Doda village
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Prof GM Bhat said that there was no need to give much hype of the development of cracks in some buildings as it was a locally created problem.

Geologists made it clear that there was no Joshimath-like crisis strikes Doda district where some families were shifted to safer places after some structures including residential houses developed cracks.  The affected area is sliding due to the non-availability of a proper drainage system.

After visiting the site, Prof Bhat said that there has been no construction or road-widening activity taking place in the area. "The area is not sinking. It is rather creeping or sliding probably due to the non-availability of a proper drainage system," he said.

Cracks in Doda village
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Water seepage into the mountainside village in the absence of a proper drainage system, new constructions in recent years, and being a sinking area of the 1980s prima facie seem to be the reason of some structures developed cracks in Nai Basti village of Doda district.

GSI team has already collected soil and rock samples from the affected area.

On February 4, the J&K Government had deputed a team from the Geological Survey of India (GSI) to analyze the situation. The team collected soil and rock samples from the village and analyzed the surroundings of the area where several houses and other structures have developed cracks.

The team visited after cracks appeared in a cluster of 22 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.

Around 300 souls have been evacuated after their houses developed cracks. While three houses collapsed after developing cracks on Friday, at least 19 other structures have been rendered unsafe.

The administration has assured that it would provide the best possible assistance to the affected people of Nai Basti village, situated around 35-km from Doda town along the Kishtwar-Batote national highway.

Jammu and Kashmir's government has also denied the reports that the emerging situation in Nai village was akin to the "land subsidence" witnessed in Uttarakhand's Joshimath.
"All the affected families have been evacuated and there is no need to create much hype. We are keeping a close eye on the emerging situation and all efforts would be made for their rehabilitation," Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had said.