Source: The post is based on the article “Settlement on debris is primary reason for ‘sinking’, states report” published in TOI on 9th January 2023
What is the News?
The Uttarakhand town of Joshimath which is located at the foothills of the Himalayas, has been reportedly “sinking”, with cracks visible on the walls of the houses and structures.
Why is Joshimath sinking?
Joshimath is a small town in Uttarakhand which is located at the foothills of the Himalayas, and on the site of an ancient landslide.
The reasons why Joshimath sank a few inches under the ground are:
Firstly, the prime reason is the geography of the place. Since the city has been established on landslide debris, the land has a low bearing capacity, and it cannot sustain a large amount of construction and population.
Secondly, unplanned construction, population pressure, tourist infrastructure, hydel power projects and development activities have also made the slopes highly unstable in the last couple of decades.
Thirdly, the lack of systematic drainage has compounded the problem. Unregulated construction has often come in the way of the natural flow of water because of which water has had to chart alternative routes. Due to this, a lot of water has been percolating down into the porous crystalline rocks beneath the surface softening them further.