Traffic movement restored on NH-6 connecting 4 northeastern states

Traffic movement restored on NH-6 connecting 4 northeastern states

Traffic movement on the National Highway that passes through Meghalaya, connecting Tripura, Mizoram, and Manipur, including southern Assam, was restored, officials said

Shillong: Traffic movement on the National Highway that passes through Meghalaya, connecting Tripura, Mizoram, and Manipur, including southern Assam, was restored, officials said on Wednesday.  National Highway 6 (NH-6), which is an important road as it connects as many as four northeastern states with the rest of the country, is prone to landslides. During the monsoon season commuters face a lot of hurdles while traveling through this route. A 30-km-long stretch in the East Jaintia Hills District of Meghalaya experiences frequent landslides in the rainy season.

According to a district official, rocks and debris fell on the highway in the Sonapur area on Tuesday that blocked vehicular movement on that route, and the administration deployed a workforce to clear the mudslide.

Abhilash Baranwal, Deputy Commissioner in the East Jaintia Hills district, told IANS, “We have been able to restore traffic movement on one carriageway in the landslide-hit zone. Vehicles have been moving, and we are hopeful of restoring complete traffic movement.”

However, the official advised commuters on this route to stay cautious and keep sufficient food and water while traveling through this highway.

“There may be partial blockages on the road as the 30 kilometer stretch can experience landslides anytime during the rains. We have kept the workforce ready for restoring traffic movement at the earliest if any disruption happens; however, commuters must remain prepared for landslides, which may delay their journey by a few hours,” Baranwal said. The Northeastern region is prone to landslides for the most part. One of the significant landslide-occurring sites lies at Sonapur, which is situated in Meghalaya. The landslip zone is located 141.8 kilometers from Shillong, following the path of a perennial stream that descends on the left bank of the Lubha River. It is an old, ongoing slide of rock and debris. It becomes active during the rainy season and seriously impairs communication on the roads. In the slide zone, the Oligocene-age Barail Group sandstone, siltstone, and shale sequence is revealed, according to a study carried out there.

The study further revealed the poor rock quality, unfavourable orientation of joints, and triggering effect of water during the rainy season, leading to sliding activity in the area.

In 2008, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) built a tunnel of 123 meters in length to deal with the frequent landslides on that stretch. It proved beneficial for the first few years to combat the landslide; however, in the last 3–4 years, the landslides have increased their stretch and recurrently blocked the mouth of the tunnel on two sides. (IANS)

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