The situation in the hill section of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has further deteriorated as rain and landslides continued to batter the region, affecting the Lumding-Badarpur route of NFR, an official said on Monday.
The Lumding-Badarpur section in Assam is the only route to connect Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and the southern part of Assam with the rest of the country. This rail link has been cut off for three days.
The debris from the hills has completely engulfed the Haflong station. A train on railway tracks fell and got tilted due to landslides. The pictures of this railway station went viral on social media.
Sabyasachi De, CPRO of NFR, said the landslides occurred in 53 locations. The Railways could clear the debris and restore the tracks at 11 locations only.
“These are the places where landslides happened but the impact was not felt much. However, there are multiple locations where the foundation of the railway tracks got washed away due to landslides. Some of such areas are stretched up to 100 meters making it difficult for the railway staff to restore the track,” De said.
Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued fresh rainfall alerts across Northeast India. It has predicted isolated heavy to very heavy falls across Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim all week, and heavy rains over Mizoram and Tripura on May 17-18. Meghalaya, on the other hand, may witness isolated extremely heavy falls on May 17.
These conditions, especially in Assam and Meghalaya, are making it more difficult for the Railways to plan the restoration of the train services.
The road connectivity with the above states was also disrupted due to severe landslides in multiple locations in Meghalaya. Thousands of vehicles were stranded on the road as the boulders and mud blocked the national highway.
Jagpal Singh, Superintendent of Police of East Jaintia Hills district, said on Monday that vehicles are plying through a one-way route as some of the debris could not be cleared. “There is heavy traffic on the highway,” he added.
The police officer has also warned that further rain can worsen the situation again.
The above article has been published from a wire agency with minimal modifications to the headline and text.