Troops of the Trishakti Corps Indian Army have started an operation as part of their massive efforts to reestablish surface travel connectivity in North Sikkim. The region suffered significant disruptions due to the recent flash floods that damaged footbridges, roads, and other infrastructure. The Trishakti Troops are also getting support from the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and locals of the affected areas in their efforts to reconnect isolated villages in the region.
“In an effort to reconnect North Sikkim, troops of Trishakti Corps Indian Army along with BRO, ITBP & locals of the area are undertaking extensive operations to restore connectivity. New footbridges are being laid and restoration work is underway to reconnect Sikkim,” Trishakti Corps said in a post on X.
The focus of the operations is on restoring connectivity to North Sikkim through Chungthang, which was the worst affected during the devastating flood that occurred after the landslides, the Indian Army said earlier.
Troops of the Indian Army undertook a challenging operation through difficult terrain and have reached the isolated village of Rabom, North West of Chungthang and rescue of 150-200 civilians are underway.
Over the last five days, multipronged efforts have been launched.
These include ensuring the sustenance of all places cut off by troops present there, reaching out to places cut off and where troops are not present, restoration of communication and connectivity to the cut-off places for immediate use, damage assessment, and planning for long-term reconstruction work.
Immediately the account has been taken of all tourists and locals in Chaten, Lachen, Lachung, and Thangu in North Sikkim. A list of 2000 tourists including 63 foreign nationals has been compiled and assistance is being provided in terms of food, medical aid, accommodation, and telephone connectivity.
A helpline was established through which, relatives of all the tourists are informed about the well-being of the tourists.
“This effort will continue till they are evacuated. With the improvement in the weather, air evacuation of tourists has started on October 9. Another action being undertaken by the Indian Army is to reconnect the villages that have been cut off,” the Army said.
Towards that end, a log bridge over Lachen Chu connecting Chungthang to Pegong has been completed by troops of the Indian Army along with ITBP and locals, it added.
Meanwhile, the Indian Army and BRO with the assistance of ITBP troops launched a footbridge from Chungthang’s side.
Special teams were launched on October 7 to open the route to Chaten via Rabom.
The teams, launched from Chaten and Chungthang side moved over difficult terrain under inclement weather and reached Rabom village on the night of October 8. A foot link-up has thus been established and assistance is being provided to the 150-200 civilians stranded in the area.
Simultaneously, an assessment of the damage and plans for restoring road communication in the entire state has been completed by DG BRO and Senior Engineer officials of the Indian Army. A number of meetings with the State Government and all agencies have been held and ground survey has been carried out by the team, in some of which, even the Chief Minister of Sikkim, PS Tamang was present. The CM has assured of all assistance in terms of availability of land, forest clearance, etc for the reconstruction work.
To ensure the sustenance of the people at Chungthang, rations have been provided to the Gurudwara at Chungthang. Medical aid is being provided at all locations and so far more than 1,500 patients have been treated by the Trishakti Healers.