Friday, October 09, 2009

Rains trigger series of landslides in Gangtok

GANGTOK, October 9: Persistent rains over the past 24 hours have triggered a series of landslides in the State.
A protection wall built just below the Central Public Works Department near Balwakhani, near here collapsed last night creating panic among the residents. The incident occurred at around 2:30 am this morning.
The newly constructed wall also blocked the road, causing minor damage to a Maruti Omni, which was parked at one side of the road. This blocked traffic movement until BRO labourers chipped in to remove the debris.
The irate residents blamed the contractor and the department for the slip-shod construction that led to the collapse of the protection wall.
“This incident proves that the proportion of cement and sand was quite poor, thus putting many lives in danger,” said one of the residents.
Similarly, another landslide had occurred near Sikkim Rehabilitation Centre at Mile 32, which brought the national highway traffic to a stand still for nearly two hours. Commuters had to queue up for several hours in the morning for the traffic to return to normalcy at 11 am.
A tree that was uprooted at Rangpo IBM area also blocked the Rangpo-Singtam stretch for six hours.
The Rangpo-Melli road was also disturbed for an hour. Duga, Cheuribotey and Singtam remained disturbed for two hours. However, local residents played an active role to clear the debris.
The landsides near Rorathang Bridge disrupted the Rangpo-Rhenock road for four hours while another landslide at Sirwani brought the Singtam-Mangan road to a standstill. It is suspected that the Singtam-Mangan stretch may take another two days for the traffic to resume.

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