Sikkim hit by heavy rains, tourism business facing losses

Due to continuous torrential rains, the communication system from Sikkim state of India to Siliguri-Darjeeling in West Bengal has been disrupted. Due to heavy rains landslides occurred in several areas of Darjeeling and Kalimpong.

It has been reported that National Highway 10 from Siliguri to Sikkim has been closed due to landslides due to continuous rain. Traffic has come to a standstill due to landslides at various places in the Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Sikkim sections of the road.

All traffic is now using the alternate route to Sikkim via Kalimpong. As a result, tourists are in a lot of trouble. Along with that, the tourism business is also affected.

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The Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) is controlling the overall security of domestic and foreign tourists in Darjeeling. In an advisory issued on Saturday (July 6), they said parks in Gangama, including Rock Garden in Darjeeling, have been closed due to heavy rains and landslides.

Samrat Sanyal, General Secretary of Himalayan Hospitality and Tourism Development Network, said that the tourism business has suffered greatly due to the landslide on National Highway No. 10. The impact of this loss will last till this year’s Durga Puja.

He also said that 80 to 85 percent of hotel-resort bookings are booked in June. There the booking has come down to 15 to 20 percent. Bookings are already low due to monsoons. If the state of national highways is like this, the damage may increase. The hill hoteliers claim that there has been a loss of around 45-50 crore rupees in May-June.

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Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) Tourism Secretary Norden Sherpa said National Highway 10 is the lifeline of northern India. Through this road, domestic and foreign tourists not only visit Sikkim, but also Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Dooars. Tourism industry in other regions has been negatively impacted due to the closure of travel to Sikkim due to landslides.

Meanwhile, the motorists of Sikkim including Duars, Kalimpong, Darjeeling have suffered due to adverse weather conditions. Driver Harpa Bahadur said that the number of tourists is already low in June-July. Among them, national highway number 10 is closed, so many roads have to be detoured. Many tourists do not take this risk as the cost is high. As a result, hotel bookings are also decreasing.

It is reported that rain is continuing in the hills and plains of Sikkim. The water of the Teesta river has reached the limit. The water of Teesta and Jaldhaka rivers is gradually increasing due to continuous rain. A red alert has been issued for Teesta River in the area from Mekhliganj to Bangladesh. Apart from this, yellow alert has been issued in Jaldhaka river in the area from Domhani to Bangladesh. In the meantime, many parts of the national highway have collapsed in the Teesta River.