Dzongu, 13 Sept [IPR]:

The Mantam Lake which was formed due to the landslide last year had cut off the road network connecting the 11 villages of Upper Dzongu in North Sikkim. In order to restore connectivity to these villages, the District Administration and the Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department immediately put into operation two motorized rafts to ferry the people across the lake. The Road and Bridges Department under took restoration of the road network to Lingdem village on war footing and the connectivity has been restored. The Mines and Geology Department also undertook controlled breaching of the dam during the month of April and May. Due to the controlled breaching of the dam, considerable water was drained out and thus the danger posed by the lake was averted.

Recently after the heavy monsoons heavy sediments were brought down by the raging Tholung Chu and deposited in the Mantam lake. The motorized rafts are unable to operate in the waters currently due to the shallow depth and high currents. The connectivity to the villages of Tingvong and Sakyong Pentong GPUs through the motorized rafts has been affected.

In order to immediately restore the connectivity to the villages of Tingvong GPU and Sakyong Pentong GPU the District Administration is undertaking the construction of 140 meters long bamboo bridge across the river. The construction will be completed by the end of the week and the connectivity will be temporarily restored. The construction of the bridge is very challenging due to the long span and the topography but the Roads & Bridges Department and the office of the District Collector undertook the task.

In order to permanently restore the connectivity to the two GPUs, the District Administration has decided to construct a 140 mtr long suspension foot bridge across the Mantam Lake. The Suspension Foot Bridge will take about four months to complete. This work will be taken up on a war footing and once completed the connectivity will be restored permanently.

The tender process for the construction of permanent bridge at Kayum for restoring vehicular traffic to Upper Dzongu is currently under process in the Roads & Bridges Department. The detailed DPR has already been drawn and once tendered the work will be taken up.

The Food and Civil Supplies department has also released the PDS stock till November for the two GPUs. These PDS items were stored at Tinvong as part of pre-monsoon preparedness during the month of May.

It is also mentioned here that the geography and topological formation are constantly changing in the lake due to which such challenges as above constantly arise. The people are further assured that the state government is sensitive to their sufferings and is making all possible efforts to solve it.