- Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura
Agartala, May 17, 2022 : Tripura and Mizoram along with parts of Barak Valley have become isolated through roadways and railways from the rest of the country due to the post consequences of cyclone ‘Asani’ at Dima Hasao district in Assam.
It is reported that the landslides had taken place at several areas along the hill line of Lumding-Badarpur railway tracks. The ground beneath the railway line has shifted. Hundreds of lorries are stuck in the Sonapur area of the Meghalaya section of the national highway. The worst affected district is Dima Hasao in Assam. Landslides have taken place in different parts of Guwahati-Silchar National Highway. Big rocks fell on the road and trees uprooted. The meteorological department predicted that there will be rains for two to three days.
Meanwhile, an area of about one hundred and fifty meters in the big Haflong area is facing a terrible crisis. Moreover, the landslide that hit the road also hit the passenger compartment of the train directly at New Haflong and capsized several compartments of the train.
In addition to this, part of the station premises was covered with water and sandstones coming down from the hill. There is considerable doubt as to whether the railways will resume operations in the next two months.
In the Meghalaya section of the Assam-Agartala National Highway, small passenger vehicles passed by for some time and within a short time, another landslide took place which led to the closure of the road again.
Many passengers in Tripura are stuck on the road and some passengers are still waiting in Guwahati. Assam Rifles and NF Railway are providing food to the stranded passengers.
On the other hand, the price of air tickets has gone up and many people cannot afford it. Needless to say, the price of daily necessities will go up as the lorries loaded with goods get stuck on the road. If the government does not monitor, then the market may fall into the hands of black marketeers. Oil crisis could hit Tripura in a few days.
Assam Oil and Indian Oil depots still have sufficient oil reserves, but how long will that oil last? The lorry loaded with goods could not come, so the Churaibari check post at the entrance of the state was completely shut down.
Meanwhile, NFR in its press communique stated that The massive landslide in more than 50 locations spreading all over the Lumding – Badarpur hill section has completely disrupted the rail communication of the hilly states like Tripura, Manipur, Mizoram and South Assam with the rest of the country since last Saturday. Nearly 2400 stranded railway passengers were rescued under challenging circumstances overcoming all odds from New Haflong and Ditokcherra.
Now with the evacuation process being over, N.F. Railway is targeting speedy restoration work in the entire section. N.F. Railway authorities are in touch with different organisations in this regard. But continuous inclement weather coupled with the difficult terrain is affecting the restoration work. Actual assessment of damage can be ascertained only after the water level recedes. The restoration work will need a huge quantity of materials, manpower and machines. Movement of heavy machinery and materials is very difficult due to frequent breaches in portions connecting roads with railway lines owing to the landslides.
However, N.F. Railway is trying to speed up the restoration work by arranging materials from various sources including far-flung areas. Once the weather becomes conducive the restoration work is expected to gain momentum. Restoration works in nearly 12 locations have already been completed.