Tupul landslide Day 6: MoS Dr RK Ranjan assured to urge center to review the project survey report

Imphal, July 05 2022: Despite intense rescue and search operation to find those persons still missing in the Makhuam village landslide tragedy, no victim could be recovered on the sixth day of the operation on Tuesday.

In all, 14 persons still remain uncounted for even as teams of NDRF, SDRF, CRPF, state police, fire services, MMTA, Territorial Army and local volunteers continue the search operation using excavators, sniffer dogs and ground penetrating radar.

So far 65 persons have been either saved or found as corpses.

Out of the 79 people buried under the debris of the landslide, 18 were rescued and corpses of 47 people including 23 personnel of Territorial Army (TA) have been recovered.

The 14 persons still missing include two personnel of TA and five locals.

Meanwhile, Union minister of state for external affairs and education Dr RK Ranjan has assured that he will personally urge the union railway minister to review the survey report for the railway project in the state.

Dr Ranjan gave the assurance while talking to media persons during his visit to the landslide spot at Makhuam village in Noney district on Tuesday.

The tragedy is the biggest ever landslide that had ever occurred in the state.

The minister said that as a person, who had studied earth science, he thinks that hydraulic pressure of muddy soil suppressed for a long period due to high volume rainfall, and gravitational force could have triggered the landslide.

Since no landslide of such magnitude happened in the state in the past, there could be some issues in fighting the tragedy.

However, the government authority along with the help of local residents are doing their best to find the missing people and he is thankful to all who are engaged in the search operation, the MoS said.

Detailed study is needed for taking up construction works or developmental projects in a geographically difficult state like Manipur, where rocks of the hill ranges are fragile and soil is soft and loose.

There is a mega thrust fault between Mao and Churachandpur along with several micro faults.

Man cannot prevent natural calamities but they can minimise the fallouts through proper study and precautionary measures, Dr RK Ranjan pointed out.

He opined that the study and survey reports for railway projects in the state will need further review.

Railway authority as well as scientific community should work together in such case study and find out safe technology and solutions for such geographically fragile region, he stressed.

Village Council Longmai (Noney) Area and RNCM, Longmai Longrian also submitted a memorandum to the union MoS for fresh survey and soil testing for Jiribam-Imphal railway project.

In response, the minister assured of bringing up the matter with the railway minister and also shared the grief and pain of the bereaved families, who have lost their loved ones in the tragedy.

Dr Ranjan also visited Makhuam village and met the families of victims whose bodies are yet to be recovered.

Top Army and police officials including DG of Assam Rifles Lt General Pradeep Chandran Nair, IGP of CRPF Manipur & Nagaland Sector Manish Agrawal, DGP Manipur P Doungel, DIG RS Rautela also visited to the site and reviewed the search operation.

On the other-hand, the search operation intensified on the sixth day of the landslide as excavators, search dogs and through-wall radar imaging were used by the joint task force also comprising police, fire service, MMTA, medical doctors and local volunteers.

The search operation was suspended for one hour in the northern portion where the landslide occurred due to fresh rock falls.

Meanwhile, a solemn wreath laying ceremony was held at Tulihal Airport Imphal on Tuesday to pay tributes to TA subedar Sajit Subba and havildar Chandan Gurung before their mortal remains were flown to their respective native places.

A similar ceremony was held on Monday to pay tributes to one officer and four soldiers, who lost their lives in the tragedy.

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