Why is Joshimath Sinking?

Earlier this month, hundreds of buildings in the town developed dangerous cracks. According to residents, small cracks had started appearing in December itself.

The town has been declared a landslide-subsidence zone. A recent survey confirmed that the land beneath Joshimath is sinking.

The town was built on the site of an ancient landslide. Cracks were reported in a few houses in 1971.

The first report outlining the sinking problem appeared in 1976. A variety of factors built over a long period of time have led to the subsidence.

The soil in the area cannot support a high rate of construction. The population of the town increased manifold, and rampant infrastructure development put additional pressure on the land.

Experts have advised halting construction in the area among other things. Planning of the town should be revised, experts have advised.

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