Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju accompanied by Darjeeling MP SS Ahluwalia visited some landslide-affected areas of the region on Thursday.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee also visited landslide affected areas of Mirik on Thursday. Rijiju stressed on Centre-state cooperation to help tide over the crisis.
In Kalimpong, Rijiju said, “The situation is grim. The existing infrastructure of the hills has been badly affected due to the landslides. The Central government will extend all possible cooperation to the state to revamp the affected infrastructure. Soon we will send an inter-ministerial team to access the extent of damages.”
An inter-ministerial team from the Centre comprising officials from the Union home, agriculture, road transport, rural development and health ministries would visit the landslide affected areas of Darjeeling shortly to access the damages caused by the killer landslides that wreaked havoc in the region on Tuesday. The death toll stands at 30 with 10 persons still missing.
Incessant rainfall on Tuesday resulted in multiple slides all over the Darjeeling Hills with the Kalimpong sub-division and Mirik in Kurseong sub-division worst affected. Vital road links were snapped with Darjeeling and Sikkim was cut off on Tuesday morning.
Working on a war footing road links were restored in the later part of the day (Tuesday). However National Highway 10 (connecting the Sikkim Capital Gangtok with the plains of Siliguri) remains closed owing to a major slip at Setijhora, 28km from Siliguri.
The Union minister reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of providing `2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased and `50,000 to the injured from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. Along with this, the Centre would sanction an additional `4 lakh each to the families of the deceased though the State Disaster Response Fund.