Adverse weather has put Rs 400 crore worth travel trade in Darjeeling Sikkim hills under crisis

Adverse weather has put Rs 400 crore worth travel trade in Darjeeling Sikkim hills under crisis
Adverse geological condition, heavy rain or disrupted communication, all put together have submerged tourism trade in eastern Himalayan hotspot Darjeeling and Sikkim hills under uncertainty. Annual travel trade of around Rs 400 crore is a major contributor to the local economy of the industrially backward region.

“Overall situation here has become nightmare for entire tourism arena,” said Samrat Sanyal, Secretary, Himalayan Hospitality & Tourism Development Network.

Following 35% higher than normal rainfall during last week, Sikkim had 52% higher rainfall on the 14th June. The figure recorded for entire Sikkim and Sub Himalayan West Bengal for the same day is staggering 189%.

Eventually, almost all the hilly roads towards Sikkim or Darjeeling have gone under the mercy of Mother Nature. Countless number of landslides have heavily fragmented NH 10 to Sikkim and Darjeeling bound NH 110. Making things even worse, both the roads have become death trap due to heavy flow of muddy water. Already lives of many local people and tourists have gone into the steep gorges or turbulent rivers.

“Heavy rain and high current in rivers have become deep challenges for rescue operations,” said a senior disaster management official. He was searching out the tourists those went missing after their vehicle toppled down to turbulent river Teesta on the 10th. Dead body of only one of them was found so far from a place around 15 km in downstream.

“On an average 50,000 foreign and 5 lakh domestic tourists visit Darjeeling Sikkim region per annum. Near 15 to 20% of them visit in Monsoon forming noticeable portion of the annual business of around Rs 400 crore,” said Raj Basu, tourism advisor to Sikkim Government.

Adding to this, Sanyal said, “After the end of summer rush by July, August gives bulk business from corporate sector as hotel and airlines tariff becomes very friendly during monsoon. But, we had to accept many cancellations of Aug-Sep bookings,” he informed.

Needless to say, none can do anything against Mother Nature. But, “A long term management system to negotiate the critical road condition needs to be developed,” he demanded.

However, West Bengal Tourism Minister Gautam Deb has assured all possible support to anyone in need.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com
However, West Bengal Tourism Minister Gautam Deb has assured all possible support to anyone in need.

Adverse geological condition, heavy rain or disrupted communication, all put together have submerged tourism trade in eastern Himalayan hotspot Darjeeling and Sikkim hills under uncertainty. Annual travel trade of around Rs 400 crore is a major contributor to the local economy of the industrially backward region.

“Overall situation here has become nightmare for entire tourism arena,” said Samrat Sanyal, Secretary, Himalayan Hospitality & Tourism Development Network.

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Adverse geological condition, heavy rain or disrupted communication, all put together have submerged tourism trade in eastern Himalayan hotspot Darjeeling and Sikkim hills under uncertainty. Annual travel trade of around Rs 400 crore is a major contributor to the local economy of the industrially backward region.

Read latest post filed under North Bengal, regional news, sikkim news, tourism

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