Heavy rain & landslide leave a trail of massive devastation

  • Dibang Valley district cut off
  • BRO swings to action to restore link

From Sapna Pango

ANINI, Apr 26: Incessant rainfall over the past 24 hours on Thursday triggered massive landslides that washed away a portion of Roing-Anini Highway (National Highway 313) and damaged many potions of the only road connectivity between the remote Dibang Valley district and the rest of the country.

The 235-km NH connects Lower Dibang Valley district HQs Roing with Dibang Valley district HQs Anini, situated in one of the valleys en route to Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The unprecedented rainfall caused extensive damages at multiple locations, including Ch 24+000, Ch 27+000, Ch 29+000, Ch 31+000 and Ch 32+000 KM between Hunli to Anini and left a trail of devastation by damaging infrastructures, dwelling houses and posing serious threat to life and properties.

Life has come to a grinding halt in Dibang Valley district, which has also been isolated from the mainland as the NH-313 serves as its lifeline for movement of people and goods.

With this crisis, the local administration has issued advisories urging residents to exercise caution and refrain from travelling until repair works are completed and weather conditions stabilize. Authorities have warned of potential dangers such as landslides, floods and rising river levels during the ongoing monsoon season. The valley is criss-crossed by Dibang River.

Meanwhile, the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) through BRO has pressed into service JCB and excavators to remove the debris for clearing approach to Ch. 24+000 site as existing alignment diversion at Ch. 23+550 is in threat.

A team of Kolkata-based M/s GRSE is likely to arrive soon to suggest steps to bridge the breach at Ch 24+000.  The EPC contractor has designated two representatives and experts to conduct investigation to ascertain reasons for such breach and suggest long term measures for stabilizing the road stretch, NHIDCL sources told this daily.

The emergency services have been are working tirelessly to restore the connectivity and ensure the safety of residents. However, restoration of road connectivity take four to five days, but local administration would offer latest status from time to time. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pema Khandu has directed the administration to restore the connectivity expeditiously.

The incident highlighted the vulnerability of the region’s infrastructure and the challenges remote areas face in maintaining crucial transportation links. The Roing-Anini Highway is vital for the local population. It holds strategic importance for the nation’s security along the international border.

Due to rugged terrain and ongoing inclement weather, repair and restoration efforts are expected to be arduous. Until the road is operational, the district will remain cut off from essential supplies and emergency services, causing significant hardships for the residents.

Authorities are currently assessing the extent of the damage and formulating contingency plans to mitigate the impact on the local populace. Come monsoon, such nature’s havoc is a common phenomenon in many parts of this Himalayan state due to hilly terrain and unstable soil which takes considerable time and resources for restoration due to  remoteness and scale of the damages.

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