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Bengal PWD to approach Union ministry of road transport and highways to fix NH10

Some sustainable measures are required to redress maintenance of NH10, which was badly affected in flash flood caused by Teesta on October 4 last year

Bireswar Banerjee Siliguri Published 10.04.24, 10:36 AM
Vehicles cross Likhuvir on NH10 near Teesta Bazaar

Vehicles cross Likhuvir on NH10 near Teesta Bazaar File picture

The Bengal PWD (public works department) will approach the Union ministry of road transport and highways to take concrete measures to repair damaged stretches of NH10, the principal highway that connects Sikkim and Kalimpong with Siliguri and the rest of the country.

“We are approaching the ministry to carry out permanent measures to avoid recurring landslides on the highway which lead to frequent traffic disruptions. The highway has become a bother for daily commuters and tourists, and is also affecting trade and commercial activities of Sikkim and Kalimpong,” said an official of the state PWD on Tuesday.

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The official said they restored traffic movement for the third consecutive time in less than one month on NH10 on Tuesday morning.

However, some sustainable measures are required to redress the maintenance of NH10, which was badly affected in the flash flood caused by the Teesta on October 4 last year.

“One of the major vulnerable stretches of NH10 is at Rabijhora, where rubble continuously slides from 100 metres above the surface of the road. After falling,
it spreads over a 200-metre-long stretch of the highway. In such a situation, vehicles moving through the stretch are at risk as the falling boulders might hit them,” the PWD official pointed out.

On April 7, the Kalimpong district administration had announced a halt in traffic movement along the NH1O stretch to carry out repairs and clear the piled debris.

“But some stretches are still vulnerable and it is necessary to have a permanent solution with the help of the Centre. That is why we have thought of approaching the Centre,” the official added.

The frequent disruption in traffic has also affected the tourism industry. As the administration is forced to order the diversion of traffic, tourists have to take alternative routes while travelling from Siliguri to Gangtok or from Kalimpong and vice versa, which is time-consuming.

Also, cabbies charge more from tourists because of additional fuel costs.

Samrat Sanyal, the general secretary of Himalayan Hospitality Travel and Tourism Development Network, said they have approached the Kalimpong administration to chalk out a plan for a permanent solution for the larger interest of the people.

“Ahead of the ensuing tourist season, the poor condition of NH10 has already left us perturbed. We hope some concrete measures will be taken soon to resolve this issue,” Sanyal said.

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