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Army yet to reach ravaged areas of Sikkim

Gangtok: With a portion of a mountain caving in and several areas completely ravaged, the Army has said it will take some time to open the road from Tung up to Lanchen and Lachung in North Sikkim which bore the brunt of Sunday`s devastating temblor.

The 6.8 magnitude earthquake had cut off many parts of Northern Sikkim like Chuntham, Lachen, Lachung, upper Dzungu and the army in five days have been able to open nearly 40 km of the road though another 35 km need to be explored, official sources said today.

"Mangan (which is nearly 60 km from Gangtok) can be considered as the gateway to the quake-hit remote areas but the real problem starts from Tung up to Lanchen and Lachung ? the two extreme points which are bifurcated from Chungtham", said an army officer of the engineering regiment, which is entrusted with the task of clearing the rubble and make a cab way.

"There is one way which leads from Gangtok to Mangan via Bittu where there were nearly 14 big landslides and in three days we have cleared the road and opened it for thoroughfare but the condition of the road from Tung to the extreme points is horrible and it will take long time before we can make the road open for the people," said the officer.

When asked why the operation was taking so long, the officer said, "Actually a portion of the mountain has caved in and several parts of the roads have been completely ravaged.

Moreover, we are not able to carry out high intensity blasts because other portions of the mountain are in a brittle condition and might come down."

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