Permanent solution in sight for Chandmari trouble spot

Chandmari trouble spot
Wed, Aug 21, 2019

KUNAL RAI
GANGTOK:
Road connectivity between Gangtok and Tsomgo Lake and Nathu La border has severely disrupted at Chandmari, some 5 km off Gangtok after the sinking trouble spot has caved in making the stretch nightmarish for motorists.
The road damage has caused severe inconvenience to the local residents and taxi drivers ferrying tourists to Tsomgo Lake, Nathu La border and Baba Mandir through the J.N. Road.
Locals complained that the 100-metre stretch at Chandmari has been a problem since many years despite repeated repair works being undertaken by the Border Roads Organisation which maintains the road. However, there has been no permanent solution in sight to the persisting problem.
Almost every year, the stretch gets damaged due to lack of proper drainage to the extent that no vehicles can pass through. This year, it has been three months since the BRO initiated restoration following which only one way traffic has been restored. Due to the bad road condition, taxi drivers refuse to ply and often overcharge passengers, the most affected being children and daily commuters.
It was claimed that lack of proper draining system along the road is causing a severe threat to the people living below and above the road as during rainy season the rain water drains causing a threat of slide.
Asked on the restoration works, a senior BRO official informed that the sinking area at Chandmari is being reconstructed using Geo Cells as a landslide and sinking mitigation method. The BRO has also started laying geo cells along the pavement to prevent further sinking of the road. After laying, the cells are filled with soil and sand. The Geo Cell retains the filled materials and only allows water to pass through which eventually prevents further sinking of the earth, it was informed. The BRO would also construct culverts along the stretch as well so that the rain water is drained out in a proper system increasing the life of the road too. The officials mentioned that within a month, the said stretch will be operational for normal vehicular movements.


Area: 7096 Sq Km
Capital:Gangtok
Altitude: 5,840 ft
Population: 6.10 Lakhs
Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 ft. to over 28,509 ft above sea level
Climate:
Summer: Max- 21°C ; Min – 13°C
Winter: Max -13°C ; Min – 0.48°C
Rainfall: 325 cm per annum
Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi