Wednesday, August 29, 2007



Gangtok: The efforts of Border Road Organisation to clear the 25 meter high and 80 feet long landslide debris in NH-31A took a hit when a loaded truck tried to make way through the landslide zone and in process hitting the massive rocks lying in landslide area lost its balance and fallen 200 meters below on river area and damaging all the repairs work put up by BRO to restore the normal traffic on National Highway.The truck driver is missing and perhaps run away from the scene after the accident but his act has caused the further delay in the BRO efforts by atleast 2-3 days as per reports.
BRO has questioned on what ground truck was permitted to cross the landslide zone as it has prohibited even lighter vehicles through the work-area .
Although it has been three days after a landslide struck the National Highway 31A between Coronation Bridge and Kalijhora, 26 km from Siliguri, the traffic movement is yet to return to normalcy.
Debris consisting of rocks, mud and uprooted branches are yet to be cleared from the landslide area.
Officials of the Border Roads Organisation said that the work progress has been delayed due to the transshipment of passengers at the sliding area. “We are trying our best to restore traffic on the route,” BRO officials added.
Work was also delayed due to heavy showers in the past 48 hours.
Meanwhile, the Police have stopped all the vehicles at Rambhi from yesterday which is five kilometers from the sliding area. From Siliguri, the vehicles are plying up to Coronation Bridge only.
More than 20 gelatin sticks have been used to crack the struck boulders. With the closure of all vehicles from Rambhi, the works have speeded up and is expected to reopen latest by tomorrow evening.
Thousand of trucks have been stalled on both side of the sliding area loaded with fruits, vegetables, cement, hardware goods.
However, with the main road link to Sikkim and Kalimpong being cut off, passengers who are in hurry are paying double the rate to reach heir destinations. The three Thunder Miss Sikkim beauty pageant winners from Sikkim who were leaving for Guwahati to participate in the Mega-Miss North East would have missed their train if the Guwahati Bound Rajdhani Express was not delayed by 45 minutes, it is learnt.