KOLKATA: Rains triggered landslides that blocked two national highways in north Bengal, cutting off Sikkim’s capital Gangtok, Kalimpong and a major part of Dooars from Siliguri in the plains.
Amid a warning of heavy to very heavy downpour in next 48 hours, fresh landslides hit parts of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts.
The two arterial roads — NH-10 that connects Siliguri and Sikkim, and NH-31 connecting Siliguri and Dooars — are closed since Thursday. The NH-10 is considered as the lifeline of Sikkim.
Toy train services in Darjeeling were suspended because of landslides and poor condition of tracks due to heavy shower. Also, train services between Siliguri and Alipuduar were affected because of the inclement weather.
Many tourists, who were heading for Sikkim, returned to Siliguri on Friday.
"My hotels were booked and my journey plan was chalked out. Now I have decided to take a detour and visit Darjeeling," said Umesh Chatterjee, a banker who wanted to visit Sikkim.
Train movement between Siliguri and Alipurduar through Dooars were stopped on Thursday after earth on both sides of the tracks caved in and washed away by the swollen Gheesh river near Malbazar in Jalpaiguri.
Heavy rains hampered repair works.