In the aftermath of the flash floods that inflicted extensive damage on Sikkim, the Indian Army, in collaboration with the BRO and with the assistance of local civil administration, has initiated an extensive operation to reconnect North Sikkim.
The Indian Army has successfully concluded the construction of a crucial bailey bridge spanning the Teesta river along the Sanklang – Theng – Chungthang route. As per a press release from the Defence Department, while the BRO is dedicated to reopening the primary route, Mangan-Tung-Chungthang, the Indian Army, supported by the BRO, local communities, and civil administration, is diligently working to create an alternative route through Mangan-Sanklang-Theng-Chungthang.
The completion of this first bridge marks a significant milestone, although construction efforts for a second bridge along the same route are still in progress.
It is worth noting that the regions beyond Mangan in northern Sikkim have remained isolated since the devastating flash floods occurred. This necessitates the construction of two bailey bridges over the Teesta River at Mangan-Sanklang Crossing.
The first bridge was successfully completed on October 22 at 11 a.m., representing a significant breakthrough in the reconnection efforts. The areas of northern Sikkim beyond Mangan have been isolated since October 4. In response to this crisis, immediate measures were taken, including the construction of footbridges and zip lines at Chungthang and Sanklang-Mangan Crossing. These installations have facilitated the movement of people on foot and the delivery of essential relief supplies through the established zip lines.
As an immediate relief measure to reestablish connectivity to Chungthang via the alternative Mangan-Sanklang-Theng-Chungthang route, the troops of Trishakti Corps have undertaken the construction of a bailey bridge at Mangan-Sanklang Crossing, which is located 200 meters upstream from the site where a bamboo bridge and zipline were initially erected, as stated in the press release.
According to reports, the width of the Teesta river has expanded to 600 feet, with water flowing through two channels, separated by a 160-foot-wide island. Given these conditions, the decision was made to construct two separate bridges. Operating with great urgency, the Indian Army achieved the completion of the first 150-foot-long bridge on October 22.
The construction of the second bridge is anticipated to be finished by October 27. This concerted effort aims to restore vital connectivity to the isolated regions of northern Sikkim, facilitating the transportation of goods and personnel in the wake of the recent natural disaster.