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Rain fury in Sikkim: Over 1200 tourists stranded in Lachung, IAF choppers pressed into service, 9 dead in 3 days

First Published: 14th June, 2024 17:27 IST

Sikkim Chief Secretary VB Pathak also informed that 9 persons have lost their lives in the rain related incidents in the last 3 days.

Sikkim Chief Secretary VB Pathak today informed that more than 1200 are believed to be stranded at Lachung in North Sikkim owing to the harsh weather conditions, especially heavy rain and landslides.

Speaking exclusively to Northeast Live Pathak informed that Indian Air Force choppers will be pressed into service for evacuation of the stranded tourists in Lachung.

Sharing more informationt the Sikkim Chief Secretary said, “Around 1200-1400 tourist might be stranded at Lachung. Since there are landslides at many places and formations have been breached in at least 7 locations, it will take around 6-7 days to restore the road communication. From the government side we have sent requisition for helicopters of IAF. As and when weather or flying conditions become suitable, we will evacuate the tourists.”

Sikkim Chief Secretary VB Pathak also informed that 9 persons have lost their lives in the rain related incidents in the last 3 days.

“In the last three days there were 2 disasters in Sikkim due to natural calamity. In the first case at Namchi district in Yangyang sub-division 3 people have lost their lives due to landslide. Similarly on the intervening night of June 12 and June 13 in Mangan district too there was a landslide, Pakshe and Arbithang are 2 badly affected villages, 6 persons have lost their lives. Few others were injured and are undergoing treatment. The Sikkim Government is providing the necessary relief to the kin of those deceased as per the norms.

Nine people have lost their lives so far in Namchi and Mangan districts,” Pathak said.

The Sikkim Chief Secretary stated there is adequate stock of foodgrains in the state but insisted that road communication through the National Highway is of utmost necessity. He said, “The availability of foodgrains in our state at present is quite satisfactory. Essential food grains are already stored in our godowns. But the opening of the NH-10 is very necessary. We have spoken on this with the Secretary of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH). He has assured us that it will be restored soon.”

Regarding any threat from glacial lakes owing to monsoons, VB Pathak said, “Presently there are no issues regarding glacial lakes. NDMA has already identified at least 15 glacial lakes in Sikkim and are under continuous observation. The situation is being monitored continously. This is happening from before and not now.”

Pathak also informed that Sikkim Chief Minister PS Tamang held a crucial meeting today with officials of concerned departments and reviewed the present situation owing to heavy rainfall in the state.

Giving out details as to what was discussed in the meeting, the top official of the Sikkim Government said, “CM will be going to Yangyang tomorrow and will hand over relief to the affected families himself. The district authorities in Mangan have also been instructed that gratuity reliefs are being handed over as soon as possible. Those injured be given proper treatment. For restoration of road communication, BRO, PWD have given necessary instructions.

In Teesta there is lot of sedimentation because of which the river bed has swelled. As a result the water level rises within a short time. We are raising the issue with the concerned ministries. THis was discussed in the meeting today.”

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