16 Jan 2023

Joshimath Land Subsidence: What Union Ministry Of Power Said About NTPC's Tapovan Vishnugad Hydro Project?

Joshimath: As the crisis deteriorates in Joshimath, with residents being shifted following rapid land subsidence, claims and counterclaims are being made.

The NTPC Tapovan Vishnugad Hydro Electric Project and the Char Dham national highway project are the two major infrastructure projects that being blamed for the havoc in Joshimath.

The Union ministry of power has, however, rejected the claim that NTPC project contributed to the present crisis. It said that the hydropower project had no role in play in the land subsidence.

'Land subsidence in Joshimath was a very old issue'

Union Power Secretary Alok Kumar said the land subsidence in Joshimath was a very old issue, dating back to 1976, and the construction of the 4x130 megawatt Tapovan Vishnugad project started only in 2006 by NTPC.

Construction of the tunnel in this stretch has been done through a tunnel boring machine (TBM), which causes no disturbance to the surrounding rock mass, Kumar added.

According to a satellite-based report by the Indian Space Research Organisation, slow subsidence of up to 9 cm has been recorded in Joshimath town for seven months, between April and November 2022 and 5 cm in the past 12 days alone.

Joshimath is the gateway to various famous pilgrimage sites, including Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib.

At least 15,000 residents in the town are now being relocated. Several hotels are also being dismantled as part of the government's drive to stabilise the area.

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