Eleven more families were relocated to safe locations in Joshimath on Saturday, January 7, as the number of houses developing cracks in the sinking town rose to 603, according to officials. According to Chamoli district disaster management officer N K Joshi, 65 families have been evacuated so far, with another 11 moving to temporary relief camps on Saturday from houses that had developed cracks.
"Saving lives is our first priority," Uttarakhand Chief Minister PUshkar Singh Dhami said of the crisis in Joshimath.
"After reviewing the situation in the sinking town, officials have been asked to relocate around 600 families living in endangered houses in Joshimath to safe locations," Dhami said on Friday.
"We are also working on short and long-term plans to address the situation in Joshimath," he added. Dhami also visited Joshimath on Saturday to assess the situation on the ground, a day after he directed the immediate evacuation of around 600 affected families.
According to an official release, the Chief Minister's Secretary R Meenakshi Sundaram and Commissioner Garhwal Division Sushil Kumar will camp in Joshimath beginning January 8.
The Chief Minister issued instructions to assist victims by departing from disaster norms and making relief arrangements under Corporate Social Responsibilty (CSR).
He also mentioned the formation of a high-powered committee for the approval of works under disaster management in order to expedite relief and rescue efforts.
Along with declaring Joshimath a landslide area, the District Magistrate Chamoli has been given an additional Rs 11 crore under the disaster heading.
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