Troops of Trishakti Corps Indian Army are undertaking operations at a massive scale to reconnect villages cut off post the flash flood on night of 3rd and 4th October.
The focus of the operations are towards restoring connectivity to North Sikkim through Chungthang, which was the worst affected during the devastating flood. Troops of 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 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.
In the immediate, account has been taken of all tourists and locals in the areas of 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 being informed about the wellbeing of the tourists. This effort will continue till they are evacuated. With the improvement in weather, air evacuation of tourists have started on 9th October.
Another action being undertaken by the Indian Army is to reconnect the villages that have been cut off. Towards that end, a log bridge over Lachen Chu connecting Chungthang to Pegong has been completed by troops of Indian Army along with ITBP & locals. Meanwhile Indian Army & BRO with assistance of ITBP troops is launching a foot bridge from Chungthang side. Special teams were launched on 7th October for opening 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 night of 8th Oct. A foot link up has thus been established and assistance is being provided to the 150-200 civilians stranded in the area.
Signallers of Trishakti Corps continue their efforts to restore communication link to North Sikkim by working round the clock. As part of these efforts, OFC cable has been crossed over Teesta River at a new location and OFC Based communication has been restored from Rangrang till Chungthang. Efforts are underway to restore OFC based communication till Lachung and Lachen after which, the BTS of BSNL can start working and mobile communication will be restored in North Sikkim.
Simultaneously, 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. Number of meetings with the State Government and all agencies have been held and ground reconnaissance has been carried out by the team, in some of which, even the Chief Minister of Sikkim, Mr 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 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 1500 patients have been treated by the Trishakti Healers.