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Traffic restored on key national highway in Meghalaya amid landslide concerns

07:09 PM May 29, 2024 IST | NE NOW NEWS
UpdateAt: 05:58 PM May 29, 2024 IST
traffic restored on key national highway in meghalaya amid landslide concerns

SHILLONG: Traffic movement along national highway 6 (NH-6) in Meghalaya, which connects Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and southern Assam to the rest of India, has been restored, officials announced on Wednesday (May 29).

This crucial route, often disrupted by landslides, particularly during the monsoon season, was cleared following recent obstructions.

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Landslide Prone Areas and Recent Blockage

A 30-kilometer stretch in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district is particularly susceptible to landslides.

On Tuesday (May 28), rocks and debris blocked the highway in the Sonapur area, halting vehicular movement.

The administration of East Jaintia Hills district in Meghalaya promptly deployed a workforce to clear the obstruction.

“We have been able to restore traffic movement on one carriageway in the landslide-hit zone. Vehicles have been moving, and we are hopeful of restoring complete traffic movement,” said Abhilash Baranwal, deputy commissioner of East Jaintia Hills district in Meghalaya.

Advisory for Commuters

Despite the restoration, Baranwal advised commuters to remain cautious and carry sufficient food and water while traveling.

“There may be partial blockages on the road as the 30-kilometer stretch can experience landslides anytime during the rains. We have kept the workforce ready for restoring traffic movement at the earliest if any disruption happens; however, commuters must remain prepared for landslides, which may delay their journey by a few hours,” he added.

Historical Context and Geological Challenges

The Northeast region, including the Sonapur area in Meghalaya, is highly prone to landslides.

The landslip zone in Sonapur, located 141.8 kilometres from Shillong in Meghalaya, follows a perennial stream descending on the left bank of the Lubha River.

This area, an ongoing slide of rock and debris, becomes particularly active during the rainy season, severely impairing road communication.

A geological study of the area highlighted that the poor rock quality, unfavourable joint orientations, and the triggering effect of rainwater contribute to the sliding activity.

The Oligocene-age Barail Group's sandstone, siltstone, and shale sequence are exposed in this slide zone.

Previous Mitigation Efforts

In 2008, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) constructed a 123-meter-long tunnel to mitigate the frequent landslides on this stretch.

Initially effective, the tunnel has faced increased challenges in recent years, with landslides recurrently blocking its entrances.


While the immediate traffic disruption has been addressed, the ongoing vulnerability of NH-6 to landslides remains a significant concern.

Authorities continue to monitor and manage the situation, ensuring the safety and connectivity for travellers in this critical region of Northeast India.