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Permits from today for trips to East spots

Gangtok, Sept. 30: The government will resume issuing permits to visit Chhangu lake, Nathu-la and Baba Mandir in East Sikkim from tomorrow with the Jawaharlal Nehru Marg being repaired for lighter vehicles.

The popular tourist destinations in the East district have been out of bounds for tourists since June when the J.N. Marg was blocked by multiple landslides.

The check-post division of Sikkim police is the authority to issue the permits, for which each vehicle has to pay Rs 10. The permits are issued at the 2nd Mile police check-post when the tourists produce their photo identity cards and submit passport-size photos. The permits are mandatory as the three tourist spots are near to the China border with Chhangu lake, located 10km from the boundary, being the farthest.

“The tourist season has already started in the state and with North Sikkim Highway being destroyed (by a flash flood on September 21), the tourism department has decided to issue permits to visit the East district from Monday,” said Chewang Rinzing, the additional secretary of the tourism department.

The taxi fare for each tourist to visit Chhangu Lake and Baba Mandir is Rs 180.