TODAY -

Kasom Khullen resorts to bartering
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 13 2015: Cutoff and isolated from all directions on account of heavy landslides and fissures on road surfaces, around 30 villages of Kasom Khullen have taken to bartering of essential goods.

Nonetheless, new road is being constructed by cutting hill sides.

With all forms of vehicular movements ruled out, people have been transporting essential items including rice on head walking long distances over dilapidated roads which are filled by mud and water up to the ankle and higher.

Sick people are transported on foot.

Thoubal-Kasom Khullen road was being constructed with investment from Asian Development Bank (ADB) but the road was badly damaged due to heavy landslides, sinking and fissures at different points.

A joint team of Manipur University Earth Science officials, Nambashi DCC Member N Wungreiyo, Kasom Khullen villagers, local club volunteers and reporters made a field assessment of Thoubal-Kasom Khullen road, Tengnoupal-Singsat road and Kasom Khullen-Khongiou road yesterday.

Massive landslides triggered by heavy rainfall in the last week of August swept away large sections of Thoubal-Kasom Khullen road and Kasom Khullen Khonglou road.

New roads are being constructed by cutting hill sides by ABCI Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, NESRIP and PWD to restore connectivity.

In addition to restoring connectivity at the earliest, the Government should take up immediate relief measures for the people of the 30 villages which have been cut off from the rest of the State, said Wungreiyo.

It has been three weeks since these villages were cut off from the rest of the State, the villagers are now facing acute shortage of food and other essential goods.

Wungreiyo said that the Kasom Khullen-Khonglou road would be repaired very soon and the Ukhrul DC would be asked to provide relief materials as a matter of urgency.

After assessing the fissures and sunken portions, Prof Arunkumar of MU Earth Science Department said that the fissures may grow wider if they are not filled up using 'foreign' materials.

He suggested that wooden houses would be safer than concrete houses in the western part of Kasom Khullen.

If it is not rainy season, people need not be panicky.

It is not advisable to dig ponds or retain water in the western part of Kasom Khullen, Prof Arunkumar said.

All drainage systems should be kept in tip-top condition before the onset of rainy season.

It is preferable if the drainage systems can be made of concrete so that direct contact between land and water is avoided as much as possible.

The land surface over which dwelling houses were built was believed to have been formed around 1000 years back and it is quite soft and loose.

The fissures cannot be filled by type of earth.

It should be filled using soil types which would absorb very little or no water, Prof Arunkumar said.

As Kasom Khullen is prone to earthquakes, all the fissures need to be filled up in time scientifically with a long term vision.

A report on landslides, fissures and sunken roads would be submitted to the Ukhrul DC soon so that appropriate remedial measures can be initiated.

It is hydrostatic pressures which created fissures on earth's surface, and loose or soft surfaces are more vulnerable to hydrostatic pressures, Prof Arunkumar said.

One S Ngainingphung said that they have been bartering whatever they have with fellow villagers as they have been totally isolated since the past three weeks.

Robertson Jajo, a local, activist, urged authorities concerned to provide immediate relief materials and expedite the road reconstruction works.


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