IMPHAL, August 30: The recent massive monsoon rainfall together with what is claimed to be a tectonic movement under the earth has severely affected the eastern belt of the state of Manipur, said Minister works and Transport Dr Kh Ratankumar Singh during a tour at Kasom Khullen to take stock of the natural calamity and progress of newly declared National Highway Thoubal Kasom Khullen Road today. He said that this kind of natural calamity is once witnessed in the state 60 years back but the intensity this time was more severe.
Sinking of roads, destruction of buildings and houses, flooding of irrigational land and homestead lands, collapse of more than 11 bridges is estimated to cost more than 600 crores, Minister asserted and further said that restoration work is under progress and it may take time to completely restore the destruction caused by Mother Nature.
Comprehensive reports regarding the loss from natural calamity have already been prepared and after assessing it, restoration will gear up in full throttle, Minister Works said.
It may be mentioned that due to massive rainfall during the month of July caused sinking of land affecting the road condition.
The ongoing work on Thoubal Kasom Khullen Road under the aegis of Asian Development Bank and ABCI Infrastructures Pvt. Ltd. has to go through new cutting of road stretching 1.5 Km due to sinking of road of 250meters length at Molnem Village, 38Km from Thoubal.
Road condition beyond Kasom Khullen which does not fall under the work jurisdiction of ADB is lying unattended having more than 10 landslides disconnecting interior villages.
Presently the interior villagers are totally cut off with the only communicable facility through mobile phones.
To least establish connectivity, Minister Works assured the villagers to make excavators and other tools for the purpose available and to start clearing the roads from tomorrow.
Minister Works and Transport Dr Ratankumar Singh also announce he would introduce `Geo Grid`™ to reinforce the road for longitivity and said that an extra amount of Rs. 11 crores will have to be spent to restoring the road construction initiated by ADB.
Project Director ADB Yumnam Joykumar who accompanied the tour said during a press briefing that the completion target for the 47.25 Km Thoubal Kasom Khullen road is by September 2017 but he is confident to complete the project by early 2017 if nature favours.
He said that due to 250meters sinking road at Molnem 40 villages have been disconnected and assures full restoration it within five days.
In regard he said though the landslides beyond Kasom Khullen are beyond their jurisdiction, he would still extend support by deploying two excavators in towing away the mud.
He further stressed that to reinforce the road condition, the introduction of `Geo-grid`™ and planting of special grass species from Africa named `Victory Grass`™ which grows in extreme environments will be successful.
MLA Phungyar Victor Keishing who is also Parliamentary Secretary Tribal Development during the interaction with the villagers assured the restoration of the road. He urged the villagers to have faith in the Government and its agencies.
He also appealed the Church authority and Village Authority to educate the villagers for scientific jhumming to at least minimise such natural calamity in future.