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25-28 Indian Army buildings at Joshimath develop cracks, troops have been relocated, says Army Chief

Over the last ten days, hundreds of houses in Joshimath and a few hotels developed deep cracks making them unsuitable for living as the town sinks
alyan Ray
Last Updated : 12 January 2023, 17:30 IST
Last Updated : 12 January 2023, 17:30 IST
Last Updated : 12 January 2023, 17:30 IST
Last Updated : 12 January 2023, 17:30 IST

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Indian Army has relocated some of its troops from Joshimath after 25-28 buildings within an Army formation developed cracks, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Manoj Pande said here on Thursday, while asserting that the relocation did not impact the force’s operational readiness.

“In Joshimath, 25-28 buildings developed minor cracks and troops have been temporarily relocated. If there is a need, we can relocate them permanently at Auli, which is at a higher altitude,” the Army Chief said at a press conference. The Indian Army has a brigade operating out of Joshimath.

Over the last ten days, hundreds of houses in Joshimath and a few hotels developed deep cracks making them unsuitable for living as the town sinks. The administration is shifting thousands of people to safety as nearly 30 per cent of the city has been declared red-zone.

The Army Chief said there were minor cracks in the Joshimath-Mana road, which was being repaired by the Border Roads Organisation, but work on the (Helang) bypass was halted temporarily. The Helng-Marwari bypass is a part of the Char Dham project and was approved by the Supreme Court as there were protests against the link.

Gen Pande said the cracks in army units and roads would not impact operational preparedness and the army’s access to forward areas as there was no major damage to the roads ahead of Joshimath. The army has also offered its helipads, hospital and shelters to the civil administration for temporarily housing the evacuee.

While Joshimath was declared a land subsidence-hit area, the Prime Minister's Office and the National Crisis Management Committee reviewed the situation earlier this week.

Multiple teams of experts have pitched their camps at the hill town -- gateway to Badrinath shrine and Hemkund Sahib -- to find out an underground water source, whose breaching seems to be the immediate reason, triggering the cracks.

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Published 12 January 2023, 11:31 IST

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