EOI, DARJEELING, 17 Jul 2016: Incessant rainfall in and around Darjeeling town over the past few days has caused landslides and blocked stretches of National Highways 10 and 55, while a tree got uprooted to damage a house although there have been no reports of loss of life.
The house of Moti Lal Singh, in Lower Shiva Gram of Darjeeling, was damaged today after a huge tree branch fell on the roof. No one was inside when the incident occurred. “I was in my shop which is adjacent to my house when I heard a huge thud. I ran outside to find a big branch atop the roof,” he said.
Singh’s house is a wooden structure with a tin roof and is located right next to the Botanical garden. Apparently, boulders from the roadside also slid down but did not reach Singh’s house. “Luckily, my wife had left home early in the morning to offer prayers at Mahakal
Mandir while my son started on a pilgrimage just yesterday. But my one room house is destroyed and I am feeling really scared because of the continuous heavy rains,” he said, adding he would take shelter in a neighbour’s house.
Municipal officials visited the place and conducted a survey of the area. “I rushed to the spot as soon as I got news about the incident. Thankfully, no one was hurt even though a room has been badly damaged. I have asked my subordinates to help the victim,” said Amar Singh Rai, the municipality chairman.
The civic body chairman has appealed to everyone to remain alert given the heavy rainfall while assuring every possible support. The rains have also caused a landslide at Bhotey Bhir on NH 10 leading to Sikkim, which disrupted vehicular movement for some time. “Last night there was a landslide at Bhotey Bhir and debris blocked the road. We had cleared the blockageby nine in the morning and the road has been opened for single vehicular movement,” said Uttam Pradhan, assistant engineer of the PWD division.
Further, a huge tree fell near the Sevoke check-post that blocked traffic movement from the plains to the hills. “A large tree fell near the check-post stalling traffic movement. The tree was removed by nine in the morning with the joint effort of the PWD and forest department,” said Anurag Srivastava, the Darjeeling district magistrate.