Nearly 350 people airlifted from North Sikkim in two days

Report by: 
DEEPAK SHARMA and SUJAL PRADHAN
MANGAN / GANGTOK
19 Sep 2018

In the past two days, nearly 350 people, among them 115 civilians, 216 soldiers and 12 Indo-Tibet Border Police personnel have been have been airlifted in army and air force helicopters from places in North Sikkim hit by landslides, a Defence release issued in Gangtok said. Nearly 22 tonnes of life-saving relief materials were airlifted.
Large parts of North Sikkim have been cut off because of multiple landslides following heavy rains. On Tuesday, the Ambithang slide zone was made usable for light vehicles and by 5 p.m. the Rafong Khola slide route was temporarily restored by the Border Roads Organization, enabling light vehicles to ply up to Toong.
Two MI-17 v5 helicopters of the air force turned out to be the saviours of Sikkim, the release said. On the second day,156 HU --  Kestrels were also called in to help stranded people in North Sikkim.The whole operation was carried out by the 112 Mountain Brigade of the army stationed in North Sikkim and the Indian Air Force.
Relief and restoration work have started in a war footing in North Sikkim district as the rains had stopped, officials said. The Energy and Power department had finished the task of restoration of the damaged electricity connections in the district. The water supply to most parts of the district headquarters town of Mangan was restored by the Public Health Enginering Department on Monday. The Quick Response Team and the Forest department had cleared blocked roads in Mangan town and other areas along the North Sikkim highway.
MLA of Lachen-Mangan T. W. Lepcha, MLA of Dzongu, Sonam Gyatso Lepcha and Rajya Sabha MP, Hissey Lachungpa were touring the various affected places in the district with the officials to assess the damages, they added. (With a PTI report from Gangtok)