NH310A is the only direct road link which not only connects Gangtok with Mangan but also helps connect the important tribal settlements of Kabi, Phensang, Phodong, Namok, Swayem etc. Since the road passes through scenic areas tourist traffic to Lachen and Lachung mostly pass through this road. Though the entire area receives moderate to heavy rainfall during the monsoon, the road was lucky not to have sustained major damages during the main monsoon season.
Unfortunately torrential rainfall which battered the state over the past week was more severe in North Sikkim and this road faced a lot of rainfall related damages.
On the evening of 9th October,2022 at around 1800 hrs, in an unfortunate incident landslide hit a tourist vehicle returning to Gangtok at Km 4+600 near B1 , fortunately the all the occupants escaped with minor injuries but the landslide caused a huge traffic jam of mostly tourist vehicles returning from the North. Since the entire stretch near B1 upto B2 is a landslide prone areas, vehicles stuck at this location would be vulnerable to further landslides. Despite incessant rainfall and darkness which rendered any clearing activity dangerous, it was decided to immediately press in resources to clear the slip. Field engineers under NH-Div II along with the local police and contractor was pressed into service and the road was opened for traffic by 2000 hrs and the entire tourist evacuated safely.
Heavy rainfall continuing into the 10th of October, 2022 caused many perennial trouble spots along NH310A like Passantang slide, Namok khola, Ambithang slide and Saigaon near Phodong to flare up. In addition there was numerous slide affecting the entire road stretch. Field engineers under NH-Div II acted immediately to clear the minor slips and initiate necessary restoration works wherever necessary to make the road trafficable. A major landslide occurred at Km 21+600 Phensong again on 12th October, 2022. Required machinery was pressed into service and despite the inclement weather and land slide still active, road was finally open for traffic on 13th October, 2022.
As of date the entire road from Tashi view point to Mangan is open for traffic. During this challenging hour, special mention needs to be made of the Hon’ble Area MLAs of the respective constituencies who despite the unfavourable weather conditions toured the affected areas to boost the morale of the field engineers. The patience shown and help rendered by the public of the area, cooperation of the local police, efficiency of the machine operators, resource mobilization by local contractors Ugen Tenzing Bhutia and Dorji Tshering Bhutia too needs to be appreciated.
The past few days have shown that all challenges can be faced undaunted by the Sikkimese people.