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regular-article-logo Thursday, 23 May 2024

Sikkim government announces opening of road connecting Lachen, tourists to wait

The state, however, has not allowed the movement of tourists to Lachen. The road was closed since the October 4 flash flood in the Teesta river

Avijit Sinha Jalpaiguri/Siliguri Published 12.04.24, 05:53 AM
A stretch of NH10 in Likhuvir near Teesta Bazaar

A stretch of NH10 in Likhuvir near Teesta Bazaar

The Sikkim government on Thursday announced the opening of the road that connects Lachen, a popular tourist destination in Mangan district in northern Sikkim, with Chungthang, after a gap of six months.

The state, however, has not allowed the movement of tourists to Lachen.

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The road was closed since the October 4 flash flood in the Teesta river.

Hemkumar Chhetri, the district collector of Mangan, issued an order, saying the road was opened for one-way traffic on Thursday.

“The GREF (General Reserve Engineering Force) of the Border Roads Organisation, which works under the Union defence ministry, has readied the road between Chunthang and Lachen. Thus, from today (Thursday), only private vehicles of Lachen, and vehicles used for poll and law-and-order duty and emergency services will be allowed on the route during stipulated hours. Tourist movement has not been allowed,” said a source.

According to the order, vehicles will run between Lachen and Chungthang in the mornings and afternoons. “No movement will be allowed after 5.30pm. Also, during daytime, when there is no vehicular movement, the GREF will continue restoration work,” the source added.

The development has come as a relief for residents of Lachen..

“A bulk of the local population in Lachen depends on tourism but since October last year, not a single tourist could go there. Hotel owners, transporters and their employees are facing problems. Now that the road has opened, we believe that in due course tourists will be allowed to Lachen,” said Samrat Sanyal, the general secretary of Himalayan Hospitality and Tourism Development Network.

NH10 shutdown

The Kalimpong district administration on Thursday announced that a stretch of NH10 from Rabi Jhora to 29th Mile will remain closed from Saturday 6am to Monday 6am for restoration work at the landslide spot in Rabi Jhora.

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