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Rains, landslides disrupt rail, road links to Manipur, Tripura

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  27 May 2016 12:00 AM GMT

Agartala, May 26: Rail and road traffic remained disrupted on Thursday in southern Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and western Manipur due to incessant rains and landslides. Tripura has also been cut off from the rest of the country for the past two weeks as its lifeline — the tiol Highway-8 — was severely damaged in adjoining southern Assam.

A North Frontier Railway (NFR) official in Silchar said: “Due to torrential rains over the past several days, coupled with landslide, rail services have been disrupted in southern Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and western Manipur.” He said railway workers were clearing the debris at about 12 places in Assam’s Dima Hasao district.

“Huge mudslides together with boulders covering a large portion of the tracks at Fidhing and other places are being cleared.” The official, however, could not give the time frame by when the rail tracks are expected to be cleared. NFR official Sharma said four major trains running between Guwahati and Silchar, including Silchar-Sealdah Kanchanjunga Express and the Silchar-New Delhi via Guwahati Poorvottar Sampark Kranti Express, have been cancelled.

The railway lines and the tiol highways, considered the lifelines for the region, pass through southern Assam to connect Tripura, Mizoram and western Manipur with the rest of India. These states are dependent on the railways for the supply of food grain, fertilisers, petroleum products, construction material and other commodities.

Huge landslides blocked the railway tracks on April 27 and rail traffic could be restored only on May 6. Rail services were again disrupted on May 13. The 585-km NH-8 is the only road link between Tripura and the rest of the country through Assam and Meghalaya. About a 20-km stretch between Lower Powa in Assam and Churaibari in northern Tripura has turned into a muddy field after the heavy downpour. According to Tripura government officials, tiol Highway-8 is severely damaged and consequently hundreds of oil tankers, goods-laden trucks and other vehicles have been stranded in Lower Powa area in southern Assam. Following the shortages caused by the disruption of rail and road traffic, prices of essential commodities have soared high in the region’s markets. (IANS)

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