Slips and slides snap travel on NH10

Kalimpong, 11 Jul:

Sikkim’s lifeline connecting it to the rest of the country was ambushed today by a litter of landslides which held up traffic through the day, forcing detours and long delays.

Starting from Gangtok, the traditional trouble-spots on NH10 acted up starting from 32No and then one at the West Bengal side of Rangpo.

It was, however, in the NH10 section lying in West Bengal that the bigger disruptions descended.

Early in the morning, three massive rock slides came down at Seti Jhora under Kalimpong district. The section of Kali Jhora was also ankle deep in slick slush.

Seti Jhora has developed as a major headache on the national highway and began acting up this season with the first wave of strong monsoon showers earlier this week.

The slip was ferocious today, depositing debris reaching 25 feet high and stretching out across at least a 100 feet of the road.

Vehicles in the hundreds were stranded on either side and the West Bengal PWD’s JCB stationed at the spot could not even access the spot for most of the day since the slide remained active till the rains held.

It was only at around 4PM, after the rain had paused and the march of shoot stones and slush stopped in the zone that three excavators were pressed into service.

The debris had still not been cleared till the filing of this report.

PWD AE stationed in Kalimpong, Uttam Pradhan, when contacted, said, “It is still not clear by when the debris will be cleared. We will work till night.”

With working after dark is not advisable at this stretch, commuting on NH10 remains uncertain.

And then there are other worries along the national highway. Landslides were reported at 29th Mile, Liku Bhir and Bhotey Bhir stretches of NH 10.

Between the Sevoke Police Outpost and Coronation Bridge, there were two slides which held up traffic for eight hours on Thursday.