Landslide blocks Darjeeling Toy Train tracks, Railway service suspended

Landslide blocks Darjeeling Toy Train tracks, Railway service suspended
Darjeeling: As rains continued in the Hills, there were reports of more landslides in the Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts.

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway service from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling has been suspended owing to the tracks being blocked with debris, rocks and trees from a landslide.

Darjeeling and Kalimpong Hills have been witnessing incessant rainfall for the past few days triggering landslides.

On Tuesday, a landslide on the National Highway 55 in between Tindharia and Ghayabari resulted in the suspension of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway services from NJP to Darjeeling. "We are trying to clear the debris, rocks and trees that have fallen on the tracks. As soon as the lines are clear the NJP-Darjeeling services will resume," stated a DHR official. The Darjeeling to Kurseong section is however functioning normally.

The NH55 between Kurseong and Siliguri was also closed to vehicular traffic owing to this landslide. Earth movers were pressed into service to clear the debris. By evening part of the debris were cleared thereby allowing vehicles to ply.

A landslide at the Ghayabari bypass road from Ghayabari caused the road to sink. A part of the road was washed away.

In Darjeeling town, there was a landslide in front of Loreto Convent school. Debris and soil from the slide blocked the road to the school. Earth movers were pressed into service to clear the road. The vulnerable hill side was covered with tarpaulin sheets to stop seepage of water.

Blocked drains and Jhoras further aggravated the situation. After a visit to the landslide site, Anit Thapa, Chairman, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration stated: "We have requested the Municipality to give priority to cleaning up the drains and jhoras to ensure smooth flow of water."

He then visited the Ghoom Jorebungalow area.

"There are multiple slides in the Ghoom Jorebungalow area. Houses and roads have been damaged. We have called for a report of the damages. The earth moving equipment have been kept on standby. We are on alert and keeping a close tab on the situation. The GTA will also provide tarpaulin sheets in case of shortage," added Thapa.

Meanwhile, in Upper Rongpo Bustee in Kalimpong the house of one Manju Tamang was fully damaged in a landslide. However, there was no report of any human casualty.

The Indian Meteorological Department in a weather bulletin has issued orange warning (heavy rainfall to very heavy rainfall) for July 10 to July 12.

As per the bulleting Kalimpong received 14 cm of rainfall and Darjeeling 10 cm of rainfall in the past 24 hours.

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As rains continued in the Hills, there were reports of more landslides in the Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway service from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling has been suspended owing to the tracks being blocked with debris, rocks and trees from a landslide.

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