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Uttarakhand: Uttarakhand to assess load-bearing capacity of tourist hotspots | India News

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DEHRADUN: The Uttarakhand State Disaster Management Authority (USDMA) has decided to start a study to assess the load-bearing capacity of major towns in the state. Fifteen town areas, including the popular holiday destinations of Mussoorie, Nainital and Lansdowne, frequented by tourists from across the country and abroad, have been identified in the project’s first phase, officials said, signaling a policy shift demanded by both environmentalists and activists for long.
A technical and scientific study of the towns would commence after the monsoon. Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami told TOI on Saturday, “The scientific and technical study would be done by experts and on the basis of their recommendations, construction works would be approved in the towns, especially in the hill areas.”
Soon after the issue of land subsidence in Joshimath was reported, Dhami had this newspaper on January 10 that the government has decided to carry out a technical and scientific study of cities and towns in the hills. Working on the CM’s directions, the USDMA has prepared a plan to get the study done by professional agencies. “Tenders for the project will be floated soon,” said Ranjit Sinha, secretary of disaster management.
Besides Mussoorie, Nainital and Lansdowne, the other towns identified for the survey include Pauri, Tehri, Gopeshwar, Uttarkashi, Almora, Dharchula, Kapkot, Ranikhet, Champawat, Bhawali and Pithoragarh. Other areas would be covered in the later phases of the project, officials said.
According to officials, the agencies which would be finalised and empanelled by the department would study the load-bearing capacity of a town, number of tourists arriving each year and the right number of visitors the town can accommodate annually. Another aspect of the study would be the existing drainage system and how it could be further developed.
The third major point of the study would be finding the degree of slope (incline) on which houses have been made, identifying those not in a good condition, and tracing the permissible height of buildings and the number of buildings in violation of the approved limit. The agencies would also find out the number of houses not in a “safe zone” during a natural calamity.
Despite the Joshimath issue, Uttarakhand has witnessed a high turnout of Char Dham pilgrims. Since the start of the pilgrimage, close to 36 lakh pilgrims have offered prayers in the four revered shrines of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. In addition, 1.4 lakh pilgrims have visited Hemkund Sahib.





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