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Shillong Road: Inaccurate earthmoving reason behind untimely landslide

Commuters, who were traveling to Guwahati through Shillong road from Barak Valley or coming to Barak Valley will not forget April 28 in a very long time. Due to an untimely landslide in Meghalaya’s Kheliehriat district, National Highway 6 popularly known as Shillong route was shut for close seven long hours. This route is prone to landslides and it is very common calamity that most of the travelers have encountered at least once. But, yesterday’s landslide was an unusual one, there was no rain, no storm no heavy wind either and yet about 50 meters of the road was covered with earth falling from mountain top, along with the rolling stones came trees and heavy rocks bringing the traffic to a standstill.


The landslide took place immediately after Malidor bridge in Ratachara area which comes under Kheliehriat district administration. As per sources the calamity was first noticed around 10 AM in the morning and by the time it was cleared the clock ticked 5 PM. This route is the only lifeline for people of Barak Valley, Mizoram and Tripura, it is only through this route one can reach Guwahati and eventually move out of the state or vice versa. Because of the landslide thousands of vehicles were stranded on either side, we got to know that deputy commissioner of Cachar district S Lakshmanan called Kheliehriat’s DC and urged him to take immediate actions. Kheliehriat administration sent two bulldozers to clear the roadblock and Cachar district too helped with one. A traveler informed us that by 5 PM the vehicular traffic was moving in one lane and it took around 10 hours to clear the entire road.


Recently, in order to expand the road in the area, PWD (NH) chopped off a huge portion of the mountain and locals believe that the department did not follow the necessary scientific procedures and they believe, inaccurate earthmoving is the main reason behind this untimely landslide. Whatever the reason might be the fact is, it was a horrible day for the ones on board and this day will stay as a nightmare for them for a very long time.


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