Incessant rain wreaks havoc in North, roads blocked in several areas

Schools in the district to remain closed today Mangan, 13 Sept: Incessant rain for the last three days has caused havoc in North Sikkim especially in Dzongu and Lachen-Mangan constituency. Traffic at several spots has been disrupted and several landslides have been triggered. Owing to the road and weather condition, schools in North Sikkim will also remain closed on Friday. Mangan received 150 mm rainfall on 12 Sept while today the precipitation was recorded at 170 mm. Meanwhile, the DC-North has called an emergency meeting for 10 AM on Friday to take stock of the situation and refine preparedness plans. All HoDs in the district have been directed to attend the meeting. River Teesta is reportedly in spate crossing the danger level and inhabitants along the riverside have been alerted. The NHPC Teesta Stage V dam has recorded highest cumec of flow in the last three days forcing them to open some portion of sluice gates. Roads to North Sikkim were blocked at Ambithang near Mangan while traffic to Chungthang was blocked at Raphong Khola near Mangan where the RCC bridge has been damaged. Official sources inform that the situation of the houses near Raphong Khola is very grim as the landslips in the areas have become active. The residents of the houses which are in danger have been directed to shift to safer location. Likewise, traffic was also blocked at Mayong Chu near Naga and Wang Khola near Toong where the newly constructed Bailey Bridge was washed away few days ago. Traffic was also blocked at Reil Khola near Toong. Similarly, landslides have been reported from several areas of Dzongu and Upper Dzongu was cut off after a conductor electricity post along with the retaining wall collapsed above Police Check Post Sangakalang. Owing to multiple landslides on the way to Mangzing-Kashel Kotong Ward, villagers have been totally cut off. After the wall collapsed, the CC footpath of Sonam Choda Lepcha Memorial School was also damaged. As per information received from Sub Divisional Magistrate, Dzongu, the wall formation above Sangkalang Check Post on the Mangan side has been damaged and a protective wall needs to be immediately constructed. The 107 GREF have been informed accordingly with a photograph of the damaged road. The Sub Divisional Office, Dzongu informed all the taxi drivers and vehicle owners to take precaution while driving along the stretch and urged people to avoid travelling at night. The road from Passingdang to Mantam and above managed by Roads & Bridges Department is damaged at different locations and one cannot cross Syok Bhir as the road has been severely damaged with the culvert being washed away. Ward Panchyat of Leek ward has been requested to inform the public to avoid using the new bridge and use the other FSB at CWC instead to be safe.

The public of 20th Mile, Chandey, Dzongu has been facing several problems due to negligence of GREF as the culvert and drains have been blocked near Srinath Prasad hardware store building. The public have demanded early clearance of culverts and drains to avert landslides and disaster. They informed that they have requested the GREF several times to work towards controlling future disaster but their grievances weren’t paid any heed. The electricity and network connectivity to several places have also been snapped along with damages to drinking water supplies at several areas. The landslide also damaged the RCC building of Magraj Limboo of Ralak village under Mangshila-Tibuk GPU of North Sikkim but no casualties have been reported. District Collector, Karma R.Bonpo, along with the Sub Divisional Magistrates Mangan and Dzongu Subdivision, DPO DDMA and Police personnel along with SNT Chairperson Pintso Namgyal carried out a survey of the affected areas in Mangan, Mangshila and Dzongu today to assess the situation and are continually keeping a vigil. Tarpaulins have been provided to cover the slip areas and residents have been asked to vacate to safer location. The District Administration is continually monitoring the situation to provide relief and rescue measures, it is informed. The administration is also coordinating with the hydel project developers and monitoring the situation round the clock, an IPR press communiqué informs. The Border Roads Organization is working on restoration of the road network in the district. Relief and ex gratia as per norms will be released to the affected people, the release adds.