Landslide cuts off Imphal-Dimapur Highway

A section of the road near Khongnem Thana area cut off by landslide on October 24. (NNN Photo)
A section of the road near Khongnem Thana area cut off by landslide on October 24. (NNN Photo)

Newmai News Network
 Imphal | October 24

A major landslide, triggered by heavy rain, cut off the Imphal-Mao sector of National Highway 2 on Saturday, leaving hundreds of transport vehicles stranded along the ‘lifeline’ of Manipur.

Officials said that the resumption of normal vehicular movement along the highway will take at least five to seven days as a stretch of around 50 meters of the road has been brought down.

The mudslide occurred at Khongnem Thana area, about 12 km north of Senapati police station.

Reports stated that the mudslide started Friday evening at about 5:30 pm and took down three vehicles including two excavators and a truck. The drivers and occupants of the vehicles escaped unhurt.

While hundreds of vehicles including Imphal-bound loaded trucks and passenger vehicles were stranded on both sides of the landslide, smaller vehicles are reportedly being routed through Ukhrul.

Officials of the district administration and district police including the Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police inspected the landslide area where authorities manning the highway- BIEPL and state PWD have already swung into action to restore normal vehicular movement.

According to an official of the PWD, workforce and machineries available with both the authorities have been pressed into service.

The district administration has also evacuated members of the houses nearby the area as the mudslide continued till Saturday, reports said.

For the time being the authorities are trying to construct a temporary route to allow passing the stranded vehicles.

However, as a new road needs to be constructed, the administration has initiated talks with villagers for acquiring land for the construction. 

Around 10 to 20 houses will be affected in the construction of the permanent road, the official said.

Meanwhile, members of Senapati District Students' Association (SDSA) and Maram Students' Union are extending help to the stranded passengers and vehicles, the reports added.

More rain expected
Most parts of the state have been experiencing heavy to moderate rainfall in the last few days following which the state government has sounded flood and landslide alert on Friday.

The Meteorological department, the Earth Sciences ministry and the Regional Meteorological department had predicted heavy rainfall in North-eastern region of India for the next 48 hours, forecasting isolated heavy rainfall from October 23-26 in the region. 

Several major rivers in the valley districts of the Manipur are running above the flood warning level owing to the continuous downpour that lashed across the state over the past few days. 

The continuous downpour has submerged many paddy fields in the low lying areas of the valley districts, triggering fear among farmers whose harvest-ready crops could be damaged.