A massive landslip on Wednesday morning triggered by heavy rains over the past few days has cut off Manipur partially from the rest of the Northeast. The second lifeline of Manipur, NH 37, is breached near Kotland in the hill district of Noney.
Official reports said several buses and loaded trucks are stranded on either side of the NH 37, which was damaged by the landslip. Though attempts are on to clear the debris using excavators and all available labourers, it will take several days to make the highway operational. The officials have instructed the drivers to use the Imphal-Noney and Tupul diversion road for the time being.
A few months ago, a major landslip had damaged areas of Noney district in which 61 people were buried alive. Remains of some of the missing persons could not be recovered.
Meanwhile, local youths at Ushoipokpi in Thoubal district are threatening to block the NH 102 if the one-and-a-half km long stretch is not repaired by October 10. The youths took some reporters around to show them that the road was fraught with big potholes and damages, making it almost impossible to ply vehicles. Mohammad Riazuddin, spokesperson of a local club, said, “As ambulances and private vehicles carrying sick persons and expectant mothers who were in labour pain could not reach hospitals in time, some of the patients had died along this road.”
The youths said that despite repeated requests, the government has been turning a deaf ear to the villagers’ demands. They said they will block the NH 102 and other inter-village roads indefinitely from October 11.