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Toll in Arunachal landslides rises to 17
June 16, 2008 11:51 IST
With two more people succumbing to their injuries on Monday, the toll in Saturday's landslides at Itanagar and its adjoining areas has risen to 17.
Official sources, while confirming the figure, said that there could be more casualties, as several bodies had not been recovered yet.
Massive landslides, triggered by torrential rains, left a trail of destruction in Arunachal's capital on Saturday morning, snapping water and power supply and road connectivity.
Besides claiming 17 lives, the catastrophe also washed away over 250 houses at the bank of river Dikrong and caused property loss worth over several crores.
National Highway 52A, the lifeline of the capital complex, was closed for traffic as the road caved in at various locations. However, the road was cleared on Sunday afternoon.
The state capital and its adjoining areas have been reeling under complete darkness since the past two days as several high-tension electric poles were uprooted.
However, the electricity department has been able to provide power supply to certain localities of Itanagar temporarily.
Saturday's disaster also snapped water supply throughout the capital as many pipes were damaged due to mud slips.
The Public Health Engineering Department had pressed its manpower into service on war footing to restore water supply. It would, however, take two more days, sources at the department informed, adding that arrangements were made to supply drinking water through tankers.
Arunachal Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu on Sunday called an emergency meeting of ministers and high ranking civil and police officials to discuss flood control measures and the rehabilitation process in the twin cities of Itanagar and Naharlagun.
While directing the commissioners and secretaries of essential services to convene an immediate meeting with their concerned departmental officers, in order to chalk out an action plan to restore the disrupted services, the Chief Minister asked them to closely monitor the whole restoration work.
Calling for collective responsibility to be shouldered in such grave situation, the Chief Minister directed Papum Pare Deputy Commissioner Bidol Tayeng to immediately assess the loss of lives and property and utilise all departments for restoration work.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has appealed to the people not to panic and said the government had engaged heavy machinery to restore the disrupted essential services.
The Health Department has been asked to provide medical assistance round the clock to the victims. It has also been directed to conduct awareness campaigns in order to contain outbreak of water borne diseases in the affected areas.