Officials of the National Thermal Power Corporation have claimed that the land subsidence in Joshimath is not linked to tuneling for the Tapovan project.
Amid the locals blaming the tunnel for the cracks in their houses, NTPC Tapovan Chief General Manager Rajendra Prasad Ahirwar said that the tunnel is not passing through Joshimath, hence there is no possibility of land subsidence due to its construction.
Moreover, the area in which blasting will be carried out is at a distance of 11 km from the city, he claimed.
NTPC’s Additional GM Geology Bhuvnesh Kumar said that no blasting was being done in the tunnel currently and water has not filled in it either.
If tunnelling would have caused land subsidence and cracks in houses, it would have been affected first, he added.
Kumar said that land subsidence had been an old issue in the city and the tunnel, being dug by a boring machine has nothing to do with it.
Both the officials said that it was “wrong” to link the land subsidence with the NTPC project.
A senior official said that the tunnel is being constructed under “a capable rock”, which does not affect the surrounding rock mass.
Ahirwar said that some posters had been put up in connection with the project and that the hydroelectric project should not be linked to the present condition of the hill town in Uttarakhand.
In the 12 km tunnel, 8.5 km will be made by drill boring and the rest by blasting.