Chamoli District Magistrate Himanshu Khurana on January 30 presented three options for rehabilitation and resettlement of affected people in Joshimath. Khurana heads a committee working on a settlement plan for Joshimath. He submitted his recommendations to a high-powered panel chaired by Additional Chief Secretary Anand Vardhan.
Minister for Disaster Management Dr. Ranjit Kumar Sinha informed that Additional Chief Secretary Anand Vardhan chaired the meeting of the High Power Committee on relief, rehabilitation and various other works going on in Joshimath due to landslides and subsidence.
The residents were moved to safer places as part of the rehabilitation. Geologists and experts are trying to find out the reasons for the decline in the ecologically fragile area.
Joshimath is also known as Jyotirmath. It is a town and a municipal council in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Located at a height of 6150 feet (1875 m), it is a night stop for people visiting the holy shrines of Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib and the tourist destinations of Auli and Valley of Flowers.
Here are the 3 options as presented by the District Magistrate:
Under the first variant, a one-time settlement will be made by providing financial assistance to the affected land owners. As compensation for damage to the affected land or building, payment for the land and building will be made in accordance with the prescribed standards as a one-time settlement. The land or building of the person concerned will have to be registered in favor of the State Government before full payment is made.
As part of the second variant, the affected owners of land structures will be provided with plots of land up to a maximum area of 100 m2 for the construction of family houses with respect to the affected plots, and compensation will be provided for the affected construction. In case of more than 100 square meters of land, the affected land owners will be paid for the rest of the land as per the norms.
Before full payment to the affected owners of land or buildings and before allotment of land up to a maximum area of 100 square meters for house construction, registration of the land or building of the affected person will have to be done in favor of the State Government.
As part of the third variant, a building up to a maximum area of 75 m2 will be built on the land in a designated place for the remediation of the affected. If the valuation of the apartment building or land in question is higher than the accommodation provided, the remaining amount will be paid to the person concerned.
Before the construction tax is assessed on land up to a maximum area of 75 square meters with respect to the affected land structure, a register of the affected land or building affected by the disaster will have to be made for the benefit of the state administration.
Final report of the ongoing survey
The meeting also recommended that the options be presented to the state cabinet. Only after we receive the final report of the ongoing survey conducted by various technical institutions in relation to the Joshimath disaster-affected area, the disaster management minister said it will be clear which area is to be permanently displaced.
Once the report is received, consent will be obtained from the affected families. Then the PIU will take steps for permanent rehabilitation at the local level. Only after receiving the final report of the technical institutes will a decision be made on works related to the mitigation of land stabilization, heel erosion, drainage plan, etc.
The committee also issued directions that electricity and water bills should be waived for six months in business establishments affected by the disaster. Local residents living in areas considered “danger zones” have been moved to safer locations over the past few weeks. Fresh cracks were also seen along the Badrinath Highway in Chamoli district on 24 January.
Earlier, CM Pushkar Singh Dhami had assured the public that the Char Dham Yatra would be conducted safely. He emphasized that there should be no doubt in people’s minds about Joshimath serving as the gateway to Badrinath. Dhami said 70 percent of people in Joshimath are living their lives normally and that roads to nearby Badrinath and Auli are fully open. He added that the administration is making sure that the Char Dham yatra runs without interruption and that the safety of the pilgrims is of utmost importance.
Written by: Vaishali Verma
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