SHILLONG, June 19: Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma along with Home minister Lahkmen Rymbui on Sunday inspected the damaged portion of the NH – 6 at Lum Shnong in East Jaintia Hills in presence of district administration officials, PWD engineers and NHAI officials.
The road communication between Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya to three neighbouring states of Assam, Mizoram and Tripura has been disrupted for the past three days due to multiple landslides in LumShnong area.
An alternative route has been identified via Star Cement Premises in LumShnong, which has been opened only for light motor vehicles. During his visit to the affected area, the chief minister interacted with truck drivers, who have been stranded in the area and assured them that the administration will extend all possible support.
The chief minister said that efforts are being made to restore the road link in the next 48 – 72 hours, however, it is subject to weather conditions. He said that due to continuous rainfall the restoration work is hampered but administration is working to ensure that the road communication is restored as soon as possible.
“All efforts are being made to restore the entire damaged portion of the road to ensure accessibility. However, there is a huge challenge, as rain is not stopping. As the rain recedes and the flow of the water is diverted, the affected area can be restored,” the chief minister said.
At LumShnong, waters from the hills have been gushing through the road, which has damaged the NH- 6 and is affecting the restoration works. The work is underway currently to divert the flow of the water.
He said that in the next 24 hours, efforts will be made to ensure that light motor vehicles are able to use this road and if the rain recedes in the next 48-72 hours, movement of essential vehicles may start, which is subject to weather conditions.
Approximately 1000 plus loaded trucks are stranded along both sides of the road, from Assam and Meghalaya.
He also held a review meeting at the deputy commissioner’s office at Khliehriat with administration officials and took stock of the situation in the district.
The chief minister will visit Mawsynram on Monday and on Tuesday is leaving for Garo Hills to take stock of the situation.
Interacting with media persons at Khliehriat, he said that the Government of Meghalaya has written to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India and has sought financial assistance amounting to Rs 300 cr.
“The rain has been unprecedented, in some areas, it has broken records of the past 40 years. This is real heavy rain, which was not expected. Major roads in highways and important roads in rural areas, bridges have been damaged in the rains. There has been a huge impact as far as damages are concerned and the financial implication will be very high. There has been a huge impact on the livelihood of the people as well, including damages to livestock, farming activities across the state,” the chief minister asserted.
He said that the government will take some time to assess the extent of damages. He further informed that Union Home minister Amit Shah has been apprised of the situation.
“We have taken steps to assess the damages but it will take some time. The Government of India will also be sending a team to assess the damages,” he added.