Gangtok: A portion of National Highway (NH) 10 in Sikkim, which had caved in at Seesa Golai in capital Gangtok on June 1, is likely to be reopened in the first week of July, said roads and bridges minister Samdup Lepcha.

The incident led to a complete ban on vehicular movement from Deorali point to Titanic point on NH-10 for almost a month now.

Lepcha, along with roads and bridges advisor GT Dhungel, visited the spot on Wednesday to asses the ongoing renovation work. According to the two legislators, the highway will be opened for one-way traffic by the first week of July.

Meanwhile, the renovation work on the highway has resulted in diversions of vehicular movement to other connecting roads, which in turn is causing traffic jams in several places.

Apologising for the inconvenience, minister Lepcha said: “We apologise for the difficulties faced by the public, largely the everyday commuters of Gangtok. But this is a natural disaster. Earlier, we were thinking of reopening the road by June 30 but now it will happen by the first week of July as there are some more work to be done.”

The reason for the delay, said the minister, is incessant rain and construction materials not being readily available in the state. “We are ensuring quality work and there is no compromise. Many engineers are working to ensure the same,” Lepcha added.

Legislator GT Dhungel, a former secretary of roads and bridges department who has been overseeing the restoration work, talked about how the workers have been in action day in and day out for the past one month.

“We may start one-way traffic from the coming week, both way could take another two weeks,” Dhungel added.

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