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Sikkim: DM Mangan visits disaster-affected areas of Chungthang, Lachen

Sikkim: DM Mangan visits disaster-affected areas of Chungthang, Lachen

District Magistrate Anant Jain and officials visit disaster-affected areas in Mangan, engaging with local representatives to address critical issues and propose solutions. The visit included discussions on road connectivity, housing relocation, and disaster relief efforts.

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Local representatives raised concerns about road connectivity, housing relocation, and restoration delays Local representatives raised concerns about road connectivity, housing relocation, and restoration delays

DM Mangan, Anant Jain (IAS), alongside a team of District Administration officials, visited the disaster-affected areas of Chungthang and Lachen in Mangan district today.

The team included SDM Chungthang Kiran Thatal, ADC (Dev.) Chungthang Hem Sagar Kafley, SDPO Chungthang Arun Thatal, DCSO Palden N Lachungpa, Deputy Director DDMA Karma Dorjee, AE RDD (BAC Chungthang) Joel Lama, RO AD Kessang Ringzing Lepcha, DE (Power) Tshering Gyurmee Bhutia, police department, and concerned officials of line departments.

The team crossed the cane bridge at Sanklang and, with tranship arrangements, headed to Chungthang, where DM Mangan engaged with the panchayat presidents and ward panchayats of Chungthang GPU. The officials raised significant concerns about the critical condition of the Field Hospital area. Despite the evacuation of the village, they stated that there is a delay in restoration works. Additionally, they highlighted the prolonged isolation of Chatten village, which has been cut off for the past eight months, necessitating the construction of a suspension bridge to reconnect the village. There was a proposal for debris clearance and an urgent need for protective measures along the river belt and improvements in the drainage system within the bazaar.

A major issue discussed was the proposal for housing relocation. The local representatives underscored the lack of proper government infrastructure, hold-ups regarding compensation for land acquired by BRO or Defence, and ongoing electricity and power supply problems. They also reiterated the need for debris clearance and road carpeting in Chungthang Bazaar.

SDM Chungthang informed them that administrative procedures have already been processed and DM assured them that he would follow through and do his best to resolve the issues.

Subsequently, Jain visited Lachen, where he was welcomed by Pipon Kunzang Chopel Lachenpa, public and members of Dzumsa, and officials from the Forest Department. The Pipon emphasized the necessity for major protective works along the Lachen river belt, noting that all temporary measures had been undertaken with GREF's assistance. The community expressed concerns about Lachen's isolation on both sides, Zema and Munsithang, and the inconsistency in restoration works.

In his address, the DM gave a brief about his career background and work experiences to familiarize the gathering and assure them of efficient results and solutions. He underscored the urgency of restoring road connectivity, stating that it was the priority, in order for things to fall in line. He stressed the importance of advancing livelihood projects under the Vibrant Village Project for the Lachen and Lachung areas. He commended the officials stationed at Lachen, urging them to continue their collaborative efforts in addressing local issues.

The youth and public also interacted with the DM, putting forth their grievances. He told them that coordination and communication between administration, the public, and the army have to be clear and constant. He reminded them that the DM’s purpose is to solve issues and to make the district the best district. Lachen people thanked DM and his team for visiting the cut-off area and listening to their issues.

During his visit, he also handed over 16 quintals of ad hoc relief rice and other food supplies provided by LR & DM through the Food and Civil Supplies Department, Mangan.

The team also inspected the disaster-affected areas of Zema, which had been completely devastated by the cloudburst on October 3, 2023. A proposal for an emergency footbridge at Zema was suggested by the Pipon. The DM advised that the footbridge be robust enough to carry loads and urged the officials of Chungthang BAC to oversee the technical aspects.

Further assessments included the Lachen Bazaar slide, with DC recommending the construction of a retaining wall by the Roads and Bridges department. The Secondary School in Lachen was also evaluated, with a proposal to temporarily use it as a Food Godown pending the necessary NOC.

In a meeting with Major Prashant, 86 RCC GREF, it was reported that immediate restoration work had commenced, although equipment hiring issues were impeding connectivity restoration. Concerns about the shortage of labour were also raised, with suggestions that local issues be addressed with the involvement of the DC, SDM, and Police.

Additionally, a report on Munshithang road revealed efforts to maintain it as a one-way Class 9 road, with ongoing work to ensure traffic remains operational.

On the way back, he inspected the automated zip line installed by the army in Sanklang and instructed DPO to attach QRTs with them to learn and train in the operational process for future needs.

Edited By: Puja Mahanta
Published On: Jul 10, 2024