Incessant rain for the past few months has triggered landslides in the Kurung Kumey district, bordering China, leading to the snapping of the vital Koloriang to Parsi Parlo PMGSY Road. This disruption has cut off several administrative circles of Kurung Kumey from the rest of the country, causing immense difficulties for the local population.
The severe erosion of the Koloriang-Parsi Parlo PMGSY Road began on May 6, as the continuous heavy downpour in the district took its toll. Multiple sections of the road are blocked, halting traffic and creating a scarcity of essential commodities in Parsi Parlo and the surrounding villages. Furthermore, the evacuation of patients to district or capital-based hospitals has become challenging due to the road blockade. Similar disruptions are being faced by other PMGSY roads connecting Koloriang to Sarli/Damin and Chello/Nyolo, as well as the main highway that links Koloriang to other parts of the state and country, due to frequent landslides near the zero point area.
Yumlam Raja, the Gram Panchayat Chairperson of a disconnected village, highlighted the significance of the Parsi Parlo road, which connects seven administrative circles. "Citizens of various villages are facing lots of difficulties in procuring essential commodities due to the disruption of this crucial road. The rampant dumping of soil in the river by highway authorities has caused damage to the road, as the continuous dumping resulted in an increased water level in the Kurung River. This eventually eroded the constructed road, including retaining walls and culverts," stated Raja.
Contractor Nangram Pentum emphasized the inevitability of natural calamities causing landslides and advocated for swift restoration. He explained, "The portion that has been eroded, approximately 800 meters, was covered with Water Bound Macadam (WBM) and even had blacktopping in certain places. We cannot solely blame nature, as the road was washed away due to scouring from the Kurung River caused by the dumping of soil by the NHIDCL, the executing agency of the highway. This area is already identified as a sliding zone with loose soil, and the scouring from the river further worsened the situation. I am making efforts to restore the road as soon as the weather clears, considering the needs of the villagers and the five administrative circles."
Bengia Nunu, the Junior Engineer of Rural Works Department (RWD) and in charge of the road, attributed the road damage to the scouring of the river. The 39-kilometer stage 2 upgradation PMGSY road, funded by NABARD in 2011 but previously washed away, was scheduled for completion in October 2022. However, due to the continuous heavy downpour and natural disasters, the project remains unfinished, disrupting the lives of the seven administrative circles along the China border.
The construction agency's site engineer, Nangram Gungtum, placed blame on the highway construction agency for rampant soil dumping into the Kurung River. He stated, "The wires, culverts, retaining walls, and other structures were all washed away by the scouring, except for the WBM and GSB that had been done. The loss incurred is estimated to be over 5 crores, and we will commence restoration work once the weather clears and we receive a positive signal from the contractors."
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