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Joshimath subsidence case: Government making rehabilitation packages as per need of affected people

Chamoli: Uttarakhand Chief Minister's Secretary R Meenakshi Sundaram on Wednesday in a press interaction stated that the government is making rehabilitation packages according to the requirement of the people who suffered due to subsidence in Joshimath.
While talking to ANI on Joshimath, Sundaram said, "We are making rehabilitation packages according to the requirements of the people. Some people want to live near Joshimath while some people want to stay a little away. So there is a possibility that these packages are not one kind but a mixed sort of package. We are considering all alternatives according to people's requirements." He further added that as of now, there is also no plan for prefabricated houses for which NTPC was ordered by the state government.
A few days back, it was reported that the state government has directed NTPC to make prefabricated houses for the affected people. Speaking on that, Sundaram said, "There is no plan for making prefabricated huts as people might have certain inconvenience. Therefore at present, we do not seek any prefabricated huts. In place of that, we are allotting Rs 50,000 cash compensation to all the people."
On being asked about the current investigation, the Secretary explained, "We have requested the authorities to help and coordinate with us in the dismantling. They needed written assurance regarding the packages we are considering for rehabilitation. A record of all the discussion will be made and a copy it will be submitted."

The people wish to be compensated like the victims of Badrinath which the Secretary clarified, "I think both of the tragedies are of different categories and both of them shouldn't be mixed. There is a priority difference between Badrinath and Kedarnath. In the case of Kedarnath, the government brought a 'Punar Vikas Yojana' under which attractive packages were offered to bring all the stakeholders together, even six times that of the market rate. But here we cannot offer a package six times that of the market rate considering it is already a disaster-prone area. They can ask for the same package as Varunavat, Uttarkashi."
"According to the updated list, 723 families would be given an immediate relief of Rs 1.5 lakh each," added Sundaram.
As the Secretary addressed the reason for the cracks in the houses in Joshimath, he said, "Multiple teams are visiting here to investigate and introspect the reason for the cracks. As soon as we get the report, we'll get to know the reason."
Recently Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Pushkar Singh Dhami visited the area and announced all the construction work should be stopped. But there was still some road construction going on near Joshimath. Responding to this, Sundaram emphasised, "Roads are also made for the public. The construction work or projects that have a chance of affecting the environment here should be stopped immediately. But to should stop the development activities that don't affect the environment at all is also not good."

He later added, "As soon as the survey of the people affected ends which we expect would take a week. As soon as the government takes a firm decision, we would immediately start with the compensation disbursement," as the people in Joshimath are in dire need of relocation and compensation.
Justifying the government's decision of dismantling, he said, "We are only dismantling two hotels and its not a demolition. Other than this, no other dismantling or demolition has been planned. The stakeholders themselves requested for their properties to be dismantled. The marks on the houses have been made to temporarily dislocate the people."
"The people would temporarily be relocated. We have given Rs 50,000 to the people for them and their belongings. The people living at the hotels can use this money to rent somewhere in the area."
Ensuring food security of the citizens, the Secretary informed that the government plans to give rations to the people. "The ration will be provided to the people for six months. We are making a proposal that would be sent to the central government seeking help which would be sent soon," affirmed Sundaram. (ANI)

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