Five labourers from central Assam’s Morigaon district were died while 10 others are missing in the massive landslide at an under-construction site of the Imphal-Jiribam railway line in Manipur’s Noney district on the night of June 29.
The labourers have been identified as Gopal Phukan, Pallab Narah, Dipankar Bordoloi, Akash Narah and Hara Mohan Deka. All of them hail from Kusha Toli village under Laharighat revenue circle of Morigaon district.
Another 10 labourers Hanuman Konwar, Sinan Konwar, Utpal Phukan, Ramu Phukan, Momin Dekaraja, Akash Lorom, Debajit Phukan, Bogiyanta Phukan, Ramu Phukan (Khura Gossaingaon) and Junti Bordoloi (Kushatoli) are still missing in the site.
In addition to this, five labourers have been injured in the incident, but their names are yet to be ascertained. All these labourers were engaged in the construction work of the railway line.
A delegation of Assam Trinamool Congress, led by its president Ripun Bora, on July 2, met the affected families in Laharighat, Morigaon district.
Bora expressed sympathy to the bereaved family members and acknowledged their trauma observing that the families will be helpless given that the sole bread earners are now either dead or injured.
Later, Bora urged the Assam government to grant ex-gratia to the affected families. He also said the state government should initiate the process for recruitment of next of kin of deceased families in the railways and one of the family members of injured family members in any government job.
Bora also demanded shifting of critically injured labourers to outside the state for better treatment and said that the cost of treatment of injured labourers should be borne either by railway authorities or by Manipur and Assam governments.
The delegation comprised ATC general secretary Diganta Bhushan Barman, media cell chairman Dilip Kumar Sarma, working member Biswajit Hazarika, Pinku Ahmed and Rajib Ali and Trinamool Yuba Congress general secretary Mehbub Ali.
“On Saturday, the rescue operation was hampered as new cracks appeared in the site due to which all rescue teams were advised to proceed with caution,” said a Defence spokesperson here.
Meanwhile, Assam parliamentary affairs minister Pijush Hazarika reached the site of the landslides and took stock of the situation.
“On behalf of the Assam government, I sincerely express my gratitude towards the Manipur government and chief minister N Biren Singh for their relentless efforts in the rescue and relief operations of the victims despite complex topographic hurdles,” Hazarika said in a tweet.
“As per directions of chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, today I visited the Territorial Army camp in Tupul, Manipur which was devastated by a massive landslide. I took stock of the ongoing rescue ops for the recovery of Territorial Army jawans & civilians who are still missing,” Hazarika said.
“Union government is extending all possible logistical support to the state in the rescue operations. My prayers are with everyone affected by this calamity and I extend my sincere condolences to the bereaved families of the deceased,” the minister tweeted.
On Saturday, the death toll in the landslide went to 29 as the search operation in Tupul continued for the third day.
Of the 29 deceased, there are 20 personnel of ‘B’ Company of Territorial army, 6 employees of Venkata Sai Construction, one employee of Bharat Infra Pvt Ltd, and two other unidentified bodies.
Of the 34 missing persons, 12 each are from ‘B’ Company and Venkata Sai Construction, three from railways, two from Bharat Infra Pvt Ltd, five civilians and four other unidentified persons.
Four Hundred seventy-seven personnel of NDRF, SDRF, MMTA, police and fire service, 10 Assam Rifles, and local volunteers were engaged on Saturday for rescue operations.
The landslide took place near the company location of 107 Territorial Army deployed near Tupul Railway Station for protection of the under-construction railway line from Jiribam to Imphal.