Rijiju, Ahluwalia visits one landslide affected area, Centre assures all possible help

Nisha Chettri
Kalimpong July 2, 2015:

After Mirik, the Minister of State for Home, Kiran Rijiju, M.P S.S Ahluwalia, GTA Chief Bimal Gurung and the local political cadre’ reached Kalimpong in the morning around 11:30 to visit the landslide effected sites.

While the cadres were investigating the spot in 8th Mile, a woman named Sangita Rai amidst the crowd complained the Minister of State for Home that the calamity was not natural but manmade or ‘PWD made.’

She said that PWD generally come, cut the road and go, they don’t come back to dig a drain and construct it properly, ‘this time we had dug the drain ourselves but they (PWD) came again and unloaded their raw materials in the drain, the flow of rain water was blocked and that caused landslide, this is a pure carelessness and negligence of the PWD’ said Rai, where Rijiju in respond said that they will discuss the issue with the M.P, GTA Chief and PWD in a meeting shortly.

After visiting Nursery gaun 8th Mile, Kiran Rijiju spoke to the Journalists in Durpin where he said that they can help the victims in two ways, one by providing the ‘immediate relief’ and another in the ‘long run reconstruction.’

However Rijiju said that 2 lakh to the kin’s of the deceased and 50,000 to the injured ones will be sent from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMRF) in the hand the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) also have the provision of 4 lakh for the deceased, the injured ones have different categories in SDRF and similarly, the state government, central government and GTA will collectively provide the immediate relief to the victims.

‘The fund for the long run reconstruction of Darjeeling District will be discussed with the state government and GTA after going back to Delhi’ said the Minister of State for Home, adding that a program for reconstruction will be made soon.

Speaking in the same context the Member of the Parliament (Darjeeling) S.S Ahluwalia said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed the team to visit Darjeeling Hills immediately, ‘Modi-Ji said, when Nepal faced destruction the NDRF team reached the spot within 3 hours and when our own people (of Darjeeling) have lost lives why won’t NDRF go? And dispatched the NDRF team from Bengal’s and Bihar’s location to Darjeeling’ said Ahluwalia.

However, it was known that the Inter Ministerial Team will visit the destructed areas to estimate the budget and to build the strategy of Darjeeling-reconstruction in sometime.

S.S Ahluwalia also spoke about the wall construction in Tin Dharay and Pagla Jhora-National Highway 55. He said that Nitin Gadkari-the Transport Minister has been working to construct a wall measuring more than 100 meters which will be enforced to construct a road, however the DPR is ready and the work will be started soon.

‘Leaving NH55 aside an alternative route towards Balasun River will be constructed because the closure of NH  hinders the activity of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong’ said the M.P

In the meantime, 12 people injured in the landslide have been bought to the Sub-Divisional hospital and two have been referred to Siliguri.

GTA Chief also visited 11th mile after the Minister and M.P left. He is expected to stay in Kalimpong for few more days.

The work of searching missing body continued today .

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