10 Jan 2023

Joshimath Sinking: Karnaprayag, Many Other Hill Towns In Uttarakhand Could Suffer Similar Fate

Karnaprayag (Chamoli): Cases of land submergence are increasing continuously in other hill towns of Uttarakhand besides Joshimath. Over 50 houses in Karnaprayag in Chamoli district, situated at a distance of 80 km from Joshimath, have also developed cracks.
As news of Joshimath sinking grabs headline, the residents of Karnaprayag fear the same fate could befall them. And not just Karnaprayag, many other towns in Uttarakhand face similar fate.
Residents of Karnaprayag are already living in fear after Joshimath incident. They are even more scared as incidents of land sinking have also been reported from Karnaprayag. With a population of nearly 50,000,  Karnaprayag is situated at an altitude of 860 metres above sea level while Joshimath is located at an altitude of 1,890 metres.

Widening of the Char Dham road blamed for present crisis

Along with climate and infrastructural changes, the widening of the Char Dham road between Helang and Marwari is being blamed for the present crisis in Uttarakhand.
Environmental concerns over the controversial 825-km Char Dham highway have been voiced by experts several times. In 2021, the Supreme Court had dismissed these, citing national security.
Experts say cutting hills for wider roads will only destabilise them further. They say the towns that could suffer a fate similar to Joshimath include, besides Karnaprayag, Gopeshwar in Chamoli district; Ghansali in Tehri district; Munsiari and Dharchula in Pithoragarh district; Bhatwari in Uttarkashi district; Pauri; Nainital and several other towns.

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