Joshimath Prone To High-Magnitude Earthquakes: Central Institutes

Uttarakhand Sinking Town Joshimath: The 700-page report recommends that Joshimath should be declared a zone of "no new constructions".

Uttarakhand Sinking Town Joshimath: Scientists have called the region 'earthquake-prone'.

New Delhi:

A report by eight government-run institutes has made several observations about the soil carrying capacity of the Uttarakhand's 'sinking town' Joshimath.

It says the region is prone to high-magnitude earthquakes. 

Joshimath has been divided into four zones - 'red, black, yellow and green', based on the magnitude of danger from land subsidence or the sinking or settling of the ground surface.

"All the construction in the high risk zone in Joshimath will be demolished," said Ranjit Sinha, Secretary, Uttarakhand Disaster Management Department.

The report has given a clean chit to the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

Residents had earlier written to Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami about the blasts in the tunnels of the NTPC project. NTPC had denied any links between its project and the situation in Joshimath.

This comes days after the Uttarakhand High Court questioned the state government's decision of not making the reports by the experts public.

"We see no reason that the State should keep the reports prepared by the experts secret, and should not disclose the same to the public at large," the court said earlier this week.

Earlier this year, eight institutes - the Central Building Research Institute, Geological Survey of India, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, National Geophysical Research Institute, Central Ground Water Board, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, National Institute of Hydrology and IIT - had been tasked to assess the sinking of the ground surface in Joshimath.

The huge Joshimath cracks had forced an entire town to displace to save themselves.

Experts blame the crisis on unplanned and chaotic infrastructure projects in the region, especially a power plant that involved blasts and drilling in the mountains,

Joshimath is called the "winter seat" of Lord Badrinath, whose idol is brought down from the main Badrinath temple to Vasudeva temple in the town every winter. It is also the gateway to the Sikh holy shrine Hemkund Sahib.