Restoration work in progress on NH-29 near Old Kohima Municipal Council dumping site Credit: EastMojo image

Kohima: Over 100 vehicles were stranded after a 15-metre stretch on NH-29 connecting state capital Kohima with Dimapur submerged and sinked 2 metres deep on Thursday morning. This was after another stretch on the highway near the old Kohima Municipal Council (KMC) dumping site was restored following minor sinking on Wednesday.

Speaking to media persons at the site on Thursday, Vikeshe Yepthomi, executive engineer, Public Works Department (PWD) (NH division), said: “Since Wednesday, we observed the sinking and deployed two machines at work till 8 pm. After the restoration, even heavy vehicles began to ply. However, by 11 pm, there were some reports of sinking but due to the rains we were unable to carry out repair work. We continued the work at 6.30 this morning.”

Notably, the 15-metre stretch is one of the three landslide landmarks that occurred last year near the old KMC dumping site. While the other two still remain intact, this particular site is still sinking due to the heavy rainfall and seepage from the mountain.

Although the exact figure could not be ascertained, Yepthomi said that over 100 vehicles were stranded since Thursday morning after a truck was stuck in the mudslide. With the assistance of the police and the machinery, the truck was pulled out. It however delayed the restoration work.

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Yepthomi is hopeful that light vehicles will be able to ply by Thursday night. “We are trying our best, provided the weather permits us. If the weather does not hamper us, it is likely to be opened to traffic by tonight. We have asked for more vehicles so we will have more machinery by tomorrow,” he added.

Over 100 vehicles were stuck after a landslide cut off the Kohima-Dimapur link on Thursday

Over 400 metres of the same stretch on NH-29 were affected by a landslide in July last year, which reopened only on September 29.

While the Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (NSDMA) has issued Rs 55 lakh for restoration work in 2018, the entire cost of the restoration had reportedly amounted to Rs 1 crore.

On visiting the site, it has come to notice that in one of the previously affected landslide areas near the Old KMC dumping site, retaining walls (below the road) were made out of stacked vehicle tyres with soil/mud stuffed inside. Above the road, the conventional method of stacking bamboo trunks into the soil (similar to the live pole system) was followed. This previously landslide-affected area, even has water seepage, is currently intact.

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