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Current Affairs 2023

Addressing the Urgent Problem of Land Subsidence in Joshimath - UPSC Current Affairs

Land subsidence is a serious problem currently affecting the city of Joshimath in India, causing cracks in homes and minor landslides. This has led to many families being displaced and has prompted the local municipality to request help from the state government. This article discusses the issue of land subsidence in Joshimath, the efforts being made to address it and highlights the need for a multi-disciplinary approach to identify the root causes and develop mitigation strategies to protect citizens and their properties.

Jan 10, 2023

2 min read

Land subsidence is a serious problem that is currently affecting the city of Joshimath in Uttarakhand. The issue has caused cracks to appear in around 50 houses and various minor landslides in the Bahuguna Nagar area, and has led many families to leave their homes and seek shelter with relatives. The local municipality has requested help from the state government in order to address the issue, and the District Disaster Management Authority has issued a bulletin regarding disaster management efforts in the area.




According to the bulletin, cracks have been noticed in a total of 678 buildings in the Joshimath town area. In the interest of safety, a total of 81 families have been temporarily displaced, and 213 rooms have been temporarily identified as habitable, with a capacity of 1191. In addition, 491 rooms/halls have been identified in Pipalkoti outside the Joshimath area, with a capacity of 2,205.


The government has also distributed food kits and blankets to the affected families, along with funds for essential household items at the rate of ₹5,000 per family. Furthermore, the Joshimath area has been divided into three zones based on the magnitude of possible danger: 'Danger', 'Buffer', and 'Completely safe' zones.


The cause of land subsidence in Joshimath is likely complex and may involve a combination of factors such as soil compaction, underground water withdrawal, and natural ground subsidence. However, it can also be caused by human activities such as overbuilding, overpumping and construction of unsuitable infrastructures in sensitive areas. The government, citizens, and other stakeholders should work together to identify and address the root causes of the land subsidence in order to prevent further damage and displacement of families.


Land subsidence is a critical issue that needs to be addressed urgently. The government and other organizations must take action to help the affected families and to prevent further incidents of land subsidence from occurring. It's important to take a multi-disciplinary approach that involves identifying the causes of the land subsidence, and developing and implementing mitigation strategies in order to protect lives and properties in the long term.

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