The northeastern state of Sikkim have experienced incessant rains and massive landslides, which left nearly 200 tourists stranded and also affected piped water supply to Gangtok.
Heavy rains have damaged NH-10, which connects the rest of the nation via Siliguri to Gangtok at 19 and 20 Mile between Singtam in East district and Rangpo in Pakyong district; blocking one of the lanes of the main highway that connects Sikkim to West Bengal.
Moreover, the met department has issued a red alert in the Himalayan state and warned of heavy to very heavy rainfall due to an upper air trough stretching from east Uttar Pradesh to Arunachal Pradesh across Bihar, sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Assam.
According to officials, a significant landslide at Ratey Chu damaged the pipe lines and impacted Greater Gangtok’s water supply.
The Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) noted that although restoration of the water supply is underway, it could take an additional two days to complete.
An advisory has been issued by the authorities to the people of Greater Gangtok to use water judiciously till the restoration is completed. Work is on in the area on a priority basis to clear the landslips.
But the heavy rains have made the condition of the stretch on the highway unpredictable as there may be more landslips anytime and the authorities have asked commuters to use alternative routes via Pakyong and central Pendam to reach the West Bengal border.
Permits for tourist vehicles to north Sikkim, which has a number of tourist destinations, have been cancelled by the administration in view of the road blocks caused by the rains in several areas.
The Chairman of Sikkim Tourism Development Commission (STDC) – Lukendra Rasaily said that nearly 200 tourists are stranded in North Sikkim district. While, the STDC in association with a travel organization been sent taxis to bring them back here.
On reaching here, they will be sent to Siliguri in West Bengal; informed the officials.
The tourists are being lodged in their hotels for the past two days and travel and hotel operators have been asked by STDC to take special care of them.
The landslide has blocked numerous strategic locations in North Sikkim, including – Phodong and Namok on the highway to Mangan. Road to the district is also obstructed at Sokpey, Rakdong and Tintek Khola near Dikchu and work is being done to clear the debris.