The bailey bridge that was submerged by the overflowing water of Kanaka river in Dzongu region of North Sikkim on Saturday Credit: EastMojo image

Gangtok: With heavy rains lashing North Sikkim in the past few days, the water levels of the Kanaka river have increased, thereby submerging a newly-constructed Bailey bridge in Dzongu region.

The bridge was built by the state roads and bridges department in February this year. With the river in spate and the bridge getting submerged, 10 villages under the Sakyong-Pentok and Tingbong gaon panchayat units (GPUs) have been cut off from the rest of the state.

Speaking with EastMojo, North Sikkim district collector Raj Yadav said: “The bridge was built in between the river and not across the river. It’s not the entire bridge that has been washed away, it’s just that the water is overflowing due to the heavy flush of the river following the incessant rains over the last few days. Once the water recedes, we will assess the damages caused to the bridge.”

The disaster management team has been in touch with the panchayats of Mantam, Tingbong, Linzya and Sakyong-Pentok villages, which have been cut off.

The bridge was built by the state roads and bridges department in February this year

District civil supplies officer Palden Lachungpa said: “Supplies have been stocked at a godown on a rented premises in Tingbong ward in Namprik village. These are enough to sustain till the end of November. We were sure of such issues arising, hence the supplies were stocked in large quantities in advance. In terms of supplies, we have stocked rice but we didn’t give preference to kerosene and atta, as the residents have to collect those themselves from Mangan. Other necessary supplies can be availed of from Mangan town or cooperative and retail shops in Passingdang ward in coordination with the panchayats.”

While Sakyong-Pentok GPU consists of five village wards, Tingbong GPU consists of another five village wards. In August 2016, Dzongu constituency was completely cut off following a landslide which resulted in the creation of an artificial lake, later labelled as Mantam Lake. A devoted connectivity to the 13 wards under the 3 GPUs of Dzongu constituency has been largely affected since the landslide with no permanent solution. Commuting for supplies is largely being done on foot through the hilly terrain or through impromptu rafts constructed by the locals and the state disaster management team over the river.

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