Illegal stone quarrying causing mudslides on NH-29

Illegal stone quarrying causing mudslides on NH-29
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Kohima, July 29: With the condition of the road between Kohima and Dimapur deteriorating due to incessant rains, the Centre has attributed the mudslides along the National Highway-29 to random stone quarrying.
In a letter to the Chief Secretary, the National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways stated that the mudslides between Peducha and Zubza since two months from inset of monsoon was due to quarrying operation carried out at the top of hill.
General Manager (Projects) NHIDCL, BO-Dimapur, A K Gupta said mudslides have been causing sinking of road, and choking of culverts thereby disturbing movement of traffic.
“The stretch of road falls under our EPC Contractor M/S Gayatri Projects Limited which is executing the four-lanning work being carried out by the contractor by removing the mud slurry, clearing the culverts, constructing gabion wall, boulder pitching, providing new culvert, draining water into designed stream, stabilizing the ground, regular strengthening of the affected stretch to restore the road,” Gupta said.
He said the matter was also discussed during the State level meeting on July 6, which was chaired by Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio and location was also inspected jointly with NSDMA on July 2, as per instruction issued by Home Commissioner in a meeting held on June 27.
“The reason for such action after analysis was found to be quarry operation being carried out at the top hill, the debris of which is continuously mixing with rain water forming slurry, water being seeping underneath road causing sinking road and surrounding area,” he added.
Gupta said the road is completely cut off at the said stretch with effect from July 24 adding restoration work is being carried out round the clock but constant settlement of the area and mudslide is making difficult to restore the road which may take another one week upto August 4, if the conditions are in favourable condition.
“It is requested to be prepared for any untoward incident to declare as emergency seeking help from other Central & State agencies for restoration and further mitigation if situation warranted,” he added.
Most of the landslides along the NH-29 are caused by random and illegal stone quarrying by the people, which was apprised to the State Government from time to time even by the Border Roads Organization (BRO).
But the State Government has so far remained helpless to stop such quarrying along the national highways.
In the recent past, the BRO officials had reminded the State Government that stone quarrying has been damaging the roads. Random cutting of link-roads from the national highway is also another factor and also frequent tremor in the State in the last couple of years.
The massive landslide near Phesama village could also be due to stone quarrying on the hilltop.
In the meantime, Government has cleared the road today, which was blocked yesterday due to mudslide near Phesama village on National Highway. But if rains continue more mudslide is expected which would further damage the road.
There are also reports of landslides in several places from other parts of the State. (Page News Service)