Prashant Acharya, EOI, LOHAGARH (MIRIK), 23 Jul 2016: Lohagarh and three other villages under Mirik block have been cut-off from the rest of the region after the diversion over Guye Khola gave way last night to torrential rains that have been falling over the last four days.
Residents of Potong, Khaprel, Hiley Jhora, Nole Danra including Lohagarh tea garden workers, SSB security personnel and a Darjeeling police team are stranded after the diversion constructed in Section 20 of the garden got washed away on Friday night.
An alternative route via Manjha Bridge is also blocked as the river has changed its course to flood and damage the road. All vehicular movements came to a standstill after the two routes got blocked confining students, tea workers, SSB jawans and police personnel in their villages.
SSB jawan Prasenjit Kullu said road connectivity is very important for security purposes and with the diversion gone now, it would be very difficult to transport necessary items to his camp where jawans are guarding the India-Nepal border.
Biswakabi Sharma and his family, who were stranded as vehicles could not enter Lohagarh, said, “We came from Mirik to visit my ailing elder sister but unfortunately our vehicle could not cross the river. The bridge collapsed some five years ago but there has been no new construction due to negligence of the state government by failing to sanction funds.”
He held the GTA, the state and central governments responsible for the negligence. “How can people undertake emergency work and take patients for treatment if there is no road connectivity?” Sharma wondered.
This afternoon, engineers from Kurseong Engineering Department and Irrigation Department under GTA headed by GJM Kurseong block president Tilak Gurung, Harihar Acharya, Santosh Rasaily and Ramesh Pradhan rushed to the spot to survey the situation.
Acharya said, “Engineers have surveyed the area and said a sturdy diversion will be constructed, work for which will start from Sunday. Work will also start on the Manjha River to connect with Chenga and Panighatta.”