Joshimath: Cracks of one-to-two metres long have developed on the Badrinath National Highway in Joshimath, the only road that leads to Badrinath, a place of faith for millions of Hindus.
Disaster Management Secretary Ranjit Sinha said that the administration has been keeping a close watch on the land subsidence of the highway.
Agencies instructed to repair road
The agencies concerned have been instructed to repair the road, said disaster management secretary Ranjit Sinha, adding that it would be done before the Char Dham yatra.
The number of structures that have developed cracks in Joshimath has increased to 863.
The sinking of the huge stones on the side of the road is also becoming a cause of concern for the government.
The plight of animals
Meanwhile, there is another tragedy playing out in this Himalayan town, with many dogs, cattle, and other domesticated animals being left to fend for themselves as their owners navigate the life-changing crisis.
Some animals have been left behind in houses, desolate and deserted as the cracks on their walls deepen, while some smaller pets have been crammed into shelter homes along with families forced into one room. The snow and the dipping temperatures have exacerbated the many woes.
The displacement is at many levels, say animal rights activists who have rushed to the once bustling town of Joshimath to keep the voiceless safe. "Any disaster is as much a crisis for animals as it is for humans," said Rubina Iyer from People for Animals (PFA) Uttarakhand.
"We want to ensure the safety and welfare of the animals. People are taking care of humans, and we are here for the animals," Iyer, who travelled from Dehradun to Joshimath along with her colleagues to help rescue affected animals.
The mountain town, the gateway to trekking trails, pilgrimage destinations such as Badrinath and the famed ski slopes of Auli, has been on the edge since January 2 when the first major land subsidence event took place and hairline fissures in several places deepened into gaping breaks in walls and streets with a frightening rumble.
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