Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Landslide blocks National Highway to Sikkim

Darjeeling (West Bengal), Aug 21 : Landslides, triggered by torrential rains have crippled traffic on the National Highway in West Bengal.

Vehicular traffic barely managed to trickle through National Highway 31-A, which connects Sikkim with Kalimpong, as workers of the Border Road Organisation (BRO) cleared stones and boulders blocking the passageway.The workers have been trying for the past four days to clear the road, but could only manage to make way for smaller vehicles.Dozens of trucks and other heavy vehicles carrying goods have been stranded on either side of the blockage.The drivers of these vehicles are a dispirited lot since they have run out of money to buy food and roadside vendors started charging too high."This has been like this for three days. There has been no movement. We don't have any money to buy eatables now," said Paresh Roy, a truck driver.Officials say the process is tedious, but they are trying to clear the road at the earliest. "There is a problem for the bigger loaded vehicles; the smaller cars are able to go. This has been shut from August 16," said Vinod Pradhan, a police official.Landslides in the region are a common feature especially with heavy rains during the monsoon season.
--- ANI