Rain wreaks havoc in North Sikkim, tourists’ entry restricted

As many as 2,464 tourists, including a few foreigners, were left stranded after major roads connecting the town got damaged at various places

Sikkim tourism

Gangtok: Tourists will not be allowed to visit the trouble-torn North Sikkim district until the roads ravaged by heavy rains and subsequent landslides were repaired and made motorable, said a senior officer of the district administration on Sunday.

The picturesque district had suffered devastation following heavy rains in Sikkim massive landslides a couple of days ago. As many as 2,464 tourists, including a few foreigners, were left stranded after major roads connecting the town got damaged at various places.

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North Sikkim district collector Hem Kumar Chettri said that al stranded tourists have been rescued during the three day operation by the Indian Army personnel. The rescue operation was disturbed due to landslides and traffic disruptions.

“The evacuation of all 2,464 tourists stranded following torrential downpour for three days was completed on Saturday evening,” said an officer.

The district collector thanked the personnel of Border roads organisation (BRO), GREF, Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP), Army and district officials for the successful evacuation of the tourists. “However, we have decided to not issue fresh permits to the tourists to visit North Sikkim for the time being due to the restoration of roads underway between Mangan Chungthang,” the DC said.

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Apart from the road network, even the telecom operations have been hit due to torrential rains that lashed the hilly town.

The incessant rains since Thursday has triggered multiple landslides in Sikkim and snapped several roads across the state. Road connectivity between the famous tourist spots Lachung, Lachen, Yumthang valley and rest of the state were totally cut off as flash flood and landslide occurred at Pegong due to incessant rainfall.

A total of 1,975 domestic and 36 foreign tourists were stranded at hotels in Lachen and Lachung areas considered gateways to various places with scenic beauty. Of the foreign tourists, 23 are from Bangladesh, 10 from the US and three from Singapore.

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More than 340 four-wheelers and 11 motorcycles were also stuck at various places in North Sikkim. Traffic has been disrupted in portions of the North Sikkim highway, JN Marg, Gangtok-Mangan road, Mangan-Singtam road, Singtam -Geyzing road, Pakyong-Rolep road.

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