Rising river floods Teesta Bazaar, disrupts route to Darjeeling

Friday, Jun 14, 2024 09:15 [IST]

Last Update: Friday, Jun 14, 2024 03:38 [IST]

Rising river floods Teesta Bazaar, disrupts route to Darjeeling

DARJEELING,: Incessant rainfalls last night at higher reaches of Sikkim saw a surge in Teesta river’s water levels which submerged some houses at Teesta bazaar besides disrupting traffic movement to Darjeeling via Lopchu-Peshok from both Kalimpong and Sikkim.

Panic spread among the Teesta Bazaar residents after the Teesta river started to rise early Thursday morning causing people living close to the riverside to leave their houses and head to safety.

“The water level started rising from 1 am in the morning after which we have not slept. We took out the necessary documents from our house and came out. There is no place for us to go. The government has been seeing the condition here, but nothing has been done. In the flash flood last year our entire property was taken away by the river and we have been living in a relative’s place but now that house is also not safe with the water rising like this,” said Sunaina Devi Prasad.

Prasad, a local resident, alleged that the government has not done anything like putting up protection walls on the river side.

“One of the main reasons that the flood like situation took place here is due to heavy rainfall witnessed at Sikkim and the water level of the river rising. The rainfall was not heavy here last night so people were not even alert as this happened suddenly. The rainy season has not even started properly, and the situation has become such. We dread to think what will happen during the monsoons,” said Wasim Ansari, a local at Teesta Bazaar.

“This falls under a natural calamity so the administration or the NHPC should do something for us. We fear that when the monsoon starts the river could come up higher,” said Ansari.

Many families of Teesta Bazaar are now staying in houses of their relatives or in community halls. They demanded that the administration should take measures for their permanent rehabilitation soon.

As the water level rose, the road from Sikkim and Kalimpong via Lopchu-Peshok is also closed with the road stretch at Teesta Bazaar submerged under water. Vehicles and two-wheelers parked on the roadside have been submerged under the water.

The NH 10, the main road to Siliguri from Kalimpong and Sikkim, is open.

Darjeeling MP Raju Bista blamed the West Bengal government and the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration for not taking any preventive measures as yet.

“Despite of the magnitude of the disaster caused by the flash floods last year the State government has failed to take any substantial actions to aid the affected citizens, and the areas that have been damaged due to the flood. Despite my repeated requests for taking mitigating measures to prevent further damages, both the State and the GTA have continued to turn a blind eye and deaf ears to the danger facing those living along the Teesta river,” said Bista in a press statement.

“Teesta is flooding again, and it is threatening to engulf Teesta Bazaar and areas nearby. This is happening due to the failure of the State and the GTA of not taking any concrete steps to prevent such flooding, despite it being over eight months since the tragedy in October,” he added.

 

Sikkim at a Glance

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