On Camera, 2 am Drilling At ‘Sinking’ Joshimath Despite Ban

Joshimath Drilling
Joshimath Drilling

In Uttarakhand’s “sinking town” of Joshimath, where more than 700 homes have developed cracks and residents are being moved to safety, banned drilling activity has resumed at night.

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NDTV caught stone-crushing and drilling in full swing at 2 am early Wednesday in the mountains just outside Joshimath, near the highway that connects the area to Badrinath.

After the crushers finished, cranes carried stones away. Over a kilometer of drilling noise could be heard, but no one stopped them.

Joshimath has banned all construction work because of land subsidence, which has caused dangerous cracks in 721 houses. A road that’s all-weather was also stopped.

In the temple town that’s the gateway to Badrinath, thousands of people live in fear.

Years of unplanned infrastructure building, including hydropower projects, have caused massive cracks in buildings and roads.

Residents and shop owners who said they weren’t given any notice halted demolition of the most damaged buildings, including two hotels and several houses.

The Uttarakhand government says 678 homes are also in danger.

After a satellite survey, 4,000 people have been moved to relief camps.

Satellite data shows Joshimath and its neighbouring areas sink at 6.5 cm a year. Locals blame NTPC’s hydroelectricity project, saying blasting tunnels left the whole region unstable. NTPC denies the charge.

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