Sunday, August 02, 2009

Land Slides at 17th Mile cut off Tsomgo Lake

27th Mile sinks along NH 31A disrupting traffic
One BRO labourer killed in the 17th Mile slide
GANGTOK/RANGPO, August 1: The holy trinity of Sikkim tourism - Nathu La border, Tsomgo Lake and Baba Mandir - has been rendered inaccessible till further notice with torrential overnight downpour triggering a mudslide along the Jawaharlal Nehru (JN) Marg stretch at 17th Mile near Kyongsala in East Sikkim.
The road leading to the above tourism spots have been completely washed near Kyongsala Falls during the slides which occurred in the wee hours of the morning.
The landslide also claimed the life of a Border Roads Organization (BRO) labourer working a machine man.
Till the time of filing this report, the combined team of Sikkim police, Army and BRO personnel are engaged in trying to recover the body of the BRO labourer.
However, there are no reports of any standard tourists or people along the JN Marg as the slide took place early in the morning forcing the tourists to call off their visits to the above tourism spots.
The local people has attributed the slide to the back cutting of the J.N .Marg by BRO during its widening works which has left most of the lands fragile and vulnerable to slides.
“None of the vehicles plying to Tsomgo Lake and Baba Mandir will be allowed until the process of restoration of the roads gets over”, said the police.
It was not only the high altitude areas of East Sikkim that was reeling under slides, same pictures have arrived from the NH 31A stretch under Kalimpong subdivision.
The Highway, Sikkim’s lifeline, has been suffering from various disruptions over the past few months caused by bandhs, reports of GLP misbehaviour and now slides.
Two trucks had broken down at the slushy 27th Mile along the national highway which disrupted traffic for almost four hours. Though the light vehicles managed to scrape thorough the slushy mess, heavy vehicles remained standard for most hours of today.