Gangtok, June 20, 2019:

The North Sikkim administration will evacuate stranded tourists on Thursday following landslides triggered by heavy rainfall in areas such as Chungthang, Lachen, etc. It is believed that over 350 tourists are stranded in the area.

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Raj Yadav, North district collector visited Munshighang area to take stock of the situation and coordinate transshipment of stranded tourists.

He said that the Lachen road has been blocked at several places and it might take another 4-5 days to be open for vehicular movement.

Tour operators have been instructed to send vehicles on Thursday to pick up tourists from locations. Proper coordination has been ensured with the Army, Police, ITBP and GREF for transshipment, medical facilities and other issues.

The district administration has decided to tranship all the tourists through State-run SNT buses and hired vehicles.

SNT buses have also reached Chungthang to bring back the tourists. Owing to the road blockade, tourists have to cross road on foot from Lachen to Chaten and after that hired vehicles will be available for Chungthang.

From Chungthang to Gangtok, SNT buses will be used, it was informed. All tour operators have also been informed to send vehicles tomorrow to pick the tourists. Proper coordination has been ensured by the district administration with army, police, ITBP and GREF for transhipment, medical facilities and other issues.

Members of Travel Agent Association of Sikkim also visited the area and made arrangements for free food and lodging for all tourists. There is no issue of food and lodging at Lachen now, said the district collector.

Power supply and mobile connectivity remains disrupted in the area, therefore contact numbers of all family members have been collected and all are being informed about the safety of the tourists, said Yadav.

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