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A stranded truck driver who was given dal and rice by volunteers of the Sairang Presbyterian Church in Mizoram’s Aizawl district
A stranded truck driver who was given dal and rice by volunteers of the Sairang Presbyterian Church in Mizoram’s Aizawl district|Facebook
MIZORAM

Mizoram: How volunteers come out to help landslide-hit commuters

While authorities are working overtime to clear blocked highways, a travel agency is taking up special initiatives to transport passengers; others providing aid to stranded people

Ezrela Dalidia Fanai

Ezrela Dalidia Fanai

Guwahati: Mizoram is prone to natural disasters every monsoon. With flooding and landslides occurring in almost every part of the state, the government is tasked with the burden of clearing blocked highways. This year, too, has been no exception.

A massive landslide at Mualkhang village on July 19 led to suspension of traffic on National Highway 306. This road, situated between Kawnpui and Sairang, connects National Highway 54 -- considered the lifeline of Mizoram.

All goods are transported through this highway, and passengers travelling to the neighbouring state of Assam have to take this route to reach their destination. However, whenever landslides occur on these two crucial highways, it disrupts life in the state -- leaving thousands of commuters stranded.

Network Travels, a small but dedicated travel agency, is arranging for special Sumo services from Aizawl to transport passengers all the way to Kolasib, from where they can take buses to reach Guwahati or Shillong
Network Travels, a small but dedicated travel agency, is arranging for special Sumo services from Aizawl to transport passengers all the way to Kolasib, from where they can take buses to reach Guwahati or Shillong
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Like every year, while the authorities are working overtime to clear the highway, locals and organisations concerned are also lending a helping hand for the smooth passage of passengers.

For instance, Network Travels, a small but dedicated travel agency, is taking special initiatives to tide over the difficult situation. As big buses cannot ply through the highway from the capital, Network Travels is arranging for a special Tata Sumo service from Aizawl to transport passengers all the way to Kolasib, that too free of cost.

After reaching Kolasib, the agency’s bus then continues to transport passengers travelling to Shillong and Guwahati.

The owner of the agency, Marina Lalthansangi, said, “The fare for transporting a single passenger from Aizawl to Kolasib by Sumo is Rs 250, but we do not charge our passengers a single extra penny for this stretch.”

Lalthansangi said that whenever landslides immobilise the highway, their passengers are never stranded. “We always go the extra mile to ensure that our passengers are not stranded even if we operate at a loss for a few days,” she added.

 Volunteers from the Sairang Presbyterian Church distributing dal and rice to stranded truck drivers in Mizoram’s Aizawl district
Volunteers from the Sairang Presbyterian Church distributing dal and rice to stranded truck drivers in Mizoram’s Aizawl district
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Meanwhile, volunteers from the Sairang Presbyterian Church are also doing their bit to distribute dal and rice to stranded truck drivers. Recently, more than 10 trucks were stuck in Sairang town due to landslides.

It is indeed commendable to see such acts of humanity even when nature lashes out its force of destruction against us.