North littered with landslides and damaged houses

Mangan, 14 Sept:

Apart from disrupting road connectivity, landslides triggered by incessant rainfall have also damaged several houses in North Sikkim.

The homes of SomBahadur Sharma, JagatBahadurLimboo,Nar Bahadur Sharma, SomBahadur and Tika Ram Sharma at Ralak, under Mangshila-Tibuk GPU,have been severely damaged.

Another landslide at Tareng village in Lower Dzonguhas also damaged the house of SherabLepchawith his cattle also being washed away. Thesaid landslide has also blocked the road leading to Gor and Sagyong-Sangtok.

Houses at Upper Tingzey and Upper ZusingWards and the PMGSY road have also been damaged by landslides.

Similarly, landslides have been triggered at Ringhim-Nampatam, Singhik-Sentam and Toong-Naga GPUs.

At Zusing, Man Kumari Sharma and her 15-year-old son were injured when a boulder smashed into their kitchen on 13 Sept. They have been forwarded to the District Hospital in Mangan for treatment.

One ekra house belonging to SherapLepchaat Nom in Dzonguhas also been severely damaged due to a landslide in the area.

Apart from these, houses in and around Mangan have reported damages and a retaining wall at Mangan Girls’Senior Secondary School has also collapsed.

One wooden house of SenpiLepcha of BringbongDzonguwas also washed away on 13 Sept.

Landslides have also hit RafongKhola,Ambithang, LantheyKhola, Meyong and Wang Kholamaking even transshipmentof passengers at these spots very dangerous. However, the Forest Territorial Division has constructed log bridgesat Rafong and Ambithang for commuters to cross the area.

Area MLA cum Deputy Speaker, SLA, SonamGyatsoLepcha, Forest MinisterTsheringWangdiLepcha, along with District Collector, North, Karma R Bonpo, Divisional Forest Officer, Territorial, James S Lepcha, Zilla member,ZominLimboo, and other Panchayat members visited these spots todayto take stock of damages.

Many commuters have been stranded beyond LantheyKhola which is one of the worst affectedsections along the North Sikkim highway.

Road connectivity in the district has snapped at various places beyond Mangan and all of Upper Dzonguhas been cut off due to landslides and the district is littered with damaged houses.

The DC North had directed all schools of North district to be shut today for the safety of the students.

The District Administration is monitoring the situation to provide relief and carry out rescue measures. Relief and ex-gratia as per norms will be released to the affected people, it is informed.

He further informed that the administration is assessing the damages of the houses after which the damages to private land holdings will be assessed. He added that the restoration of Mangan-Gangtok road will take at least a week and there is no certainty onroad restoration beyond Mangan.

Due to inaccessibility and difficulties, inspection of the spots hasposed a challenge for the administration. Officials from concerned Sub Division have been deployed, it is informed.

An emergency coordination meeting was also conducted today at the DC North’s chamber after the visit which was attended by Deputy Speaker SLA, Forest Minister and heads of various departments.