Landslides in north Sikkim hamper army movement near Indo-China border
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is working overtime to repair the strategic road leading to the border.Updated: Jun 29, 2020 19:30 IST
Parts of north Sikkim close to the China border have been cut off by multiple landslides that occurred on Saturday night and left hundreds of people homeless.
Five major landslides took place between Dikchu to Chungthang.
The main highway, connecting Mangan, the north district headquarters, and Chungthang is closed.
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is working overtime to repair the strategic road leading to the border.
Chief Minister P S Tamang on Monday visited the worst hit areas in the Dzongu area in North Sikkim.
“Many parts of Sikkim had been witnessing incessant rainfall till Sunday. Mangan received 611 mm rainfall in four days beginning June 24,” said Gopinath Raha, regional director meteorological department, Sikkim.
An army officer, who did not wish to be named, said, “Landslides often damage roads leading to the Indo-China border. All stakeholders work jointly in situations like these.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Sikkim state committee has written a letter to Jitendra Singh, Union minister of state for Development of North East Region (DoNER), seeking emergency assistance for relief and rehabilitation work.
“Considering the present situation in the India-China border in North Sikkim, restoration of the highway and the border roads should be the top most priority,” D B Chauhan, BJP Sikkim state president said in the letter.
The state government has already evacuated all villagers from the worst-affected area that is Passingdong village in Upper Dzongu, about 10 km away Mangan.
Tenzing T Kaleon, district collector of North Sikkim, said, “There have been massive damages and all the agencies are working overtime to restore road connectivity.”
The chief minister on Monday handed over compensation to 48 affected people.
Pintso Namgyal Lepcha, the legislator from Dzongu, said, “There is no road connectivity beyond Sangkhalang. Relief workers have to walk.”
Many villages including Tingvong and Sakyong-Pentong and some lying beyond Passingdong are cut-off since the Mantam landslide in 2016.
Praful Rao, president of Save the Hills, an NGO involved in disaster management, said “Many parts of North Sikkim have become vulnerable after the 2011 earthquake that caused massive damage to Sikkim. Heavy rainfall and strong current in the rivers in the north have added to the problem.”
NH-10, which connects Sikkim to Bengal and rest of India needs repair in at least eight locations between Sevok and Rangpo.