Border Roads Organisation rescues Sikkim tourists from snow
The Border Roads Organisation has rescued around 175 tourists from different locations of Sikkim after they were stranded in snow.
From March 15 to 17, it snowed in some of the upper reaches of the state, which include popular tourist destinations like Nathu-la, Harbhajan Baba Temple, Zuluk, Chhangu (Tsomgo) Lake and the Gurudongmar Lake. Some places saw rain and hailstorms.
“Tourists on those three days got stuck at these places as the roads were covered with snow and sleet, making them slippery and the movement of cars very risky,” said a source.
Most of the tourists were not carrying extra warm clothes as they expected to return to their hotels by night.
“The BRO came to the rescue of these tourists. The BRO teams provided shelter and food to 175 tourists, including women and children, at night. They took up the task to clear the roads of snow,” the source said.
“They also engaged their own vehicles to pick up the tourists and take them to their camps. Medical staff helped those who needed attention,” the source added.
The BRO, which reports to the defence ministry, builds and maintains almost all the roads near the international border. In Sikkim, Project Swastik of the BRO is responsible for the roads which lead to these tourist places located close to the India-China border.
“The BRO teams worked to clear the roads in continuous snow and rain so that tourists could head for Gangtok in their respective vehicles,” said a source.
A few days back, the army had rescued stranded tourists on two different occasions due to snowfall. Around 1,400 stranded tourists were rescued and taken to army camps.
The sudden snowfall has also prompted the Sikkim government to act.
“Movement of tourists to these destinations will be regulated, keeping in mind the weather conditions. No tourist vehicle was allowed to proceed to the Chhangu Lake and adjoining destinations yesterday (on Friday) because of the snowfall,” said a source in the administration.
As it is the end of the academic session, hundreds of tourists are pouring into Sikkim every day.