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In Photo: The caved in NH-55 near Ponchonadi bridge at Dagapur in Siliguri.  

By A Newsman

Siliguri, 24 September: VEHICLES from Siliguri to Darjeeling are plying via Matigara since Thursday morning after a portion of the National Highway-55 caved in near Dagapur in Siliguri.

A stretch of about five metres of the NH-55 that connects Siliguri to Darjeeling got washed away at the point where it runs into the Ponchonadi river bridge at Dagapur.

The civil administration said that it would take at least a week to repair the damage and throw open the road to traffic again. For now, the police have placed iron barricades a little ahead of the Ponchonadi bridge to stop vehicles from moving in.

The cave in was caused by heavy rains in and around Siliguri that lasted for about four hours on Wednesday evening with intermittent relief.

The rains had inundated several places in Siliguri town like Bidhan Road, College Para, Venus More railway quarters, Mallaguri, Shaktigarh, and even the Siliguri Municipal Corporation office was trapped in knee deep water.

The water receded on Thursday much to the relief of the people. Siliguri Mayor Asok Bhattacharya who was in Kolkata on Wednesday night campaigning for the Salt Lake civic polls, flew down to Siliguri on Thursday morning and visited some of the affected localities and pledged support to the people.