Issue of passes for Nathula to remain suspended

The Statesman

GANGTOK, 26 JUNE: Issue of passes for Nathula would remain suspended for three days from 27 June due to an advisory issued from the meteorological department, New Delhi, warning of heavy rains at a few higher places in Sikkim, informed Colonel H Reddy of the Border Roads Organisation.

Rainfall is likely in the range from 7 to 24 cm in Sikkim, and the neighbouring towns of Darjeeling and Siliguri as well, in the coming few days.

The District Collector of the East, Mr A K Singh, said: “We have confirmed with the Met department and there is no need to panic. However, heavy rainfall in the area is predicted. The Met department has also directed the tourism department for the suspension of passes to Nathula for the safety of tourists.”

“However, the volume of the rainfall as predicted is normal” added Mr Singh.

Meanwhile, around 40 to 50 vehicles have remained stranded due to a road block caused by land slips at 17th Mile, while around 100 vehicles have already been evacuated back to Gangtok, Mr Reddy informed.

“The stranded vehicles will be managed back to the relief camp at Tsomgo as stones are rolling down. The stranded people have been directed to stay back,” Mr Reddy said.

“There is, however, no high risk warning. In the aftermath of the devastating floods in Uttarakhand, the riverside towns have been directed to be cautious” he added.

“We have been strictly told not to issue passes for Nathula, citing heavy rainfall warning in the area,” said a state tourism official.

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