Sikkim Kalimpong National Highway opened after a week

Following a joint inspection by the police and the administration, the order came to open National Highway 10, known as the ‘lifeline’ of Sikkim and Kalimpong, on Wednesday. Kalimpong District Magistrate Bala Subrahmanyan issued a notice to open this road at noon on this day. There are no restrictions on the movement of ordinary vehicles or tourist vehicles. However, there are some restrictions for buses, heavy vehicles, and goods vehicles. In between Kalimpong and Sikkim, buses will run on that route from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Goods vehicles will still ply on Lava and Garubathan roads. And there is ‘one-way’ traffic in the affected Likuvir and Ravijhora areas of the national highway. The District Magistrate of Kalimpong said, “Guidelines have been issued keeping an eye on the situation. If all is normal, then restrictions will be removed.”

According to the administrative sources, since March 21, stones have started falling down the mountain slopes in two parts of National Highway No. 10. Small landslides started in some places. Even though the road was cleared, the district administration stopped traffic on the national highway on March 24. On March 25, representatives of the Administration, Transport Department, Works Department, Police Department, and Disaster Management Department visited the National Highway. On this day also, the district administration and the police checked the condition of the road in the morning. After that, it was decided to drive a small car one-way to the two affected sections.

A few years ago, there was an accident on National Highway 10 when a stone fell on a vehicle. So this time, no risk was taken. From Siliguri to Kalimpong, Gangtok trains are diverted via Algara, Lava, and Garubathan. But the roads passing through Reshi, Pedong, Algara, Lava, and Garubathan are open 24 hoursa day for goods vehicles. Along with this, the administration has asked to increase traffic vigilance along the Rangpo, Chitre, and Darjeeling-Kalimpong district borders.

Several areas of this national highway were washed away by the Teesta River last October. It has been renovated after being closed for some time. The outgoing MP claimed, “I have again asked the Union Minister for the responsibility of taking care of the road in the hands of the Central Agency. Otherwise, the problem of maintaining the road will continue.”

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