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Lachung Landslide: June 4th, 2012; Around 65 vehicles carrying 400 tourists were left stranded at Lachen - Lachung last night, after heavy landslides triggered by torrential rain hit the picturesque North Sikkim. Sources in the tourism department said some of the cars started from Lachung at 3 P M same day after the Border Roads Organisation cleared the debris of the landslide at Theeng Bhir on way to Chungthang.
Two other landslides occurred at Thimchu on way to Lachen and Rang Rang Bridge on the Gangtok- Mangan - Lachung road. The BRO said it may take another two days to smoothen traffic at Lachen where the bridge over the Thimchu, a stream, has been washed away.
We will create a diversion for the vehicles but it may take another two days to do that a BRO official told The Telegraph. The landslides started late in the afternoon, when the cars were about to start from Lachen-Lachung.
A tourism official said since the road had been cleared only at Theeng Bhir, the cars that started from Lachung would take the route through Lower Dzongu to avoid Rang Rang. The Rang Rang bridge is 8 km away from North district headquarters Mangan. Cars that left for Lachen-Lachung yesterday too came back from Mangan today via Lower Dzongu.
The tourism department, which has been coordinating with Mangan officials, said all the tourists are safe and have been put up in hotels in Lachen and Lachung.
Usually tourists from Delhi, Mumbai and Gujarat were more keen on visiting North Sikkim. “Those from Bengal prefer Changu Lake and Baba Mandir in East district.” Earthquake-triggered landslides had washed away parts of the North Sikkim highway last year and the region was out of bounds for tourists for at least three months.
A tourism official in Gangtok said: “We have requested the BRO to clear the roads as early as possible so that tourists do not face any kind of problems. Many tourists who were on their way to Chungthang returned to Mangan on Sunday night because of the rain. Nearly 400 tourists in 65 vehicles had gone to Lachen-Lachung on Saturday. They were supposed to come back yesterday, but could not because of the landslides. ”
The poor telecommunication network in North Sikkim had also added to the woes of the officials. Nearly 2,500 tourists had spent a night in the army camp at Kyongshala near Chhangu Lake last week after a landslide struck 15th Mile ... Source ..The Telegraph
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