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Sikkim Flash Flood: Death toll rises to 26 including Indian army personnel with 142 missing

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Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority (SSDMA) confirmed the death toll from flash floods in Sikkim which rose to 26 including Indian army personnel with 142 missing after the glacial-fed Lhonak Lake in north Sikkim triggered a flash flood in Teesta river basin on the 4th of October. A total of 1173 houses were severely damaged. 2413 people were rescued and 26 persons were injured. Due to flash floods in the Teesta River basin, 13 bridges were washed away.

According to a press release, Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang chaired a high-level meeting at his official residence in Mintokgang yesterday evening. The meeting was attended by Director General of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), Lt. Gen. Raghu Srinivasan, Chief Secretary of the Government of Sikkim, VB Pathak, DGP Sikkim, AK Singh, Deputy GOC of the 17 Mountain Division, DIG of ITBP, Chief Engineer of BRO, Swastik, Deputy Commandant ITBP, and senior officers of the State government and the Army.

The meeting was marked by comprehensive discussions addressing the current situation, a range of measures aimed at reconstructing and rejuvenating the lost infrastructure, and strategies to extend support to North Sikkim in terms of connectivity and in its journey to recover and restore the serene and harmonious environment that was damaged by the devastating effects of the cloudburst-induced river surge. Priority was given to open the road connectivity up to Chungthang, while the road from Naga to Toong will be constructed subject to the availability of land as soon as possible, which will be inspected today.

In an official facebook page Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang announced that the State Government, in collaboration with Sikkim Urja Limited, has formulated a special financial relief package for the disaster-stricken areas of Sikkim. We have allocated a relief package of 25 crore rupees for Mangan District and 15 crore rupees each for the Districts of Gangtok, Pakyong, and Namchi. This allocation is in addition to the relief aid provided by both the state and the central government.

He said, the State Government will offer subsidies to those who transport essential commodities, vegetables, and other food items to the State. This measure aims to ensure that the additional expenses incurred due to longer travel routes do not inflate the selling prices for the local residents. He added that stockpiling and overcharging of any goods will not be accepted. Those found in violation of these regulations will face the permanent revocation of their licenses.

Mr Tamang said, the State Government is committed to exploring all possible avenues to restore road and network connectivity in the severely affected regions of Mangan District, which are currently completely cut off from the rest of the State. He stated that in the face of the calamity that has ravaged several parts of the State while disrupting normal life, numerous officers, personnel from the NDMA, and SSDMA, and dedicated volunteers are tirelessly engaged in rescue and relief operations.

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