Kolkata: In order to provide all possible support to quake affected people in Sikkim, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday left by road for Gangtok along with the Union Minister of State for Shipping, Mukul Roy.

Before the Chief Minister’s departure, the state government dispatched essential food products and medicines for Sikkim.

Meanwhile, life was limping back to normal in the quake affected northern parts of West Bengal as the communication lines and road network have been restored. 

West Bengal ADG (Law and Order), Surojit Kar Purokayastha said, “The weather has improved on Tuesday and relief and rescue operations are in full swing in the affected areas.”

There is no further report of any casualty from the quake-hit north Bengal districts, where nine deaths have been reported till Monday, he said.

NH-31A, called the lifeline of Sikkim, was opened for traffic late on Monday evening. The highway was closed between Siliguri and Gangtok due to several incidents of landslides reported in the region.

“The Chief Minister is on Sikkim tour to help the people and will visit Gangtok and other quake affected areas," Union Minister Mukul Roy said.

The worst quake hit areas in Sikkim – Mangan and Singtan are still out of reach for rescue operations.

Due to the multiple landslides triggered by the quake, many of the roads have been blocked while the areas near the earthquake epicentre have been destroyed completely. The road between Mangan and Gangtok has been blocked at about 14 places due to repeated landslides.

According to Roy, things will take time to return back to normal, but the Union and the West Bengal government are involved in relief work. He expected life to return to normal at the earliest in the worst affected areas.

(JPN/Bureau)