Use app to avoid landslide-blocked roads in Sikkim, Darjeeling

Kolkata, April 18 (IANS) Having faced roadblocks such as landslides and construction while traveling in the hilly areas of Sikkim, a team of engineering students from the National Institute of Technology (NIT) – Sikkim has designed a community-based app that helps people avoid such road obstructions.

Launched on April 14 by Sikkim Governor Shriniwas Patil, the app named ‘Companion’ is a crowd-based navigation service, currently available for Sikkim and Darjeeling in West Bengal.

“People can get stuck due to landslides etc. in the hills for three to four hours at a stretch. The app helps people of Sikkim to avoid roadblocks due to landslides, accidents, construction etc. You can also search for amenities like restaurants, hotels, ATMs, restrooms, vehicle repair shops along the route you take,” Rajat Bhardwaj, one of the team members, told IANS.

Bhardwaj and his fellow students Mohammad Asad, Romil Tiwari, Aditya Arya, Vikash Singh formed the start-up Waders Group (from NIT – Sikkim) for such endeavours.

The students also collaborated with Border Roads Organisation Sikkim and the Department of Roads and Bridges, Sikkim, for reported road traffic and landslide verifications.

“Since it is a community-based application, the more people download the application, the better it gets. It is currently available for download on Android systems on Google Play,” said Bhardwaj, adding the group plans to expand the service soon.

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