Sikkim govt seeks IAF’s assistance to airlift 1,400 stranded tourists

Gangtok, June 15 (IANS) The Sikkim government has sought the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) assistance to airlift at least 1,400 tourists stranded in the northern part of the state due to road blockage and damages in some bridges caused by landslides triggered by heavy rains, officials said on Friday.

Large swathes of the Mangan district, which encompasses all of north Sikkim, are cut off from the rest of the country, while power supply and mobile connectivity have also been affected in the region.

A senior district official said, “There has been damage to the main road that links Yumthang and Lachung with Mangan town which is the district headquarters.”

“In addition, a bridge on Teesta River that was constructed following the devastating floods last year has been washed away, making the work for restoring road connectivity all the more difficult”, he added.

According to officials, at least 1,400 tourists from various parts of the country have been stranded in Lachung, Yumthang, and other places around Mangan district.

The state government has requested the IAF to deploy choppers to evacuate the stranded tourists.

Earlier on Friday, Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang chaired a high-level meeting to to take stock of the situation.

–IANS

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