KOLKATA: Hundreds of visitors to Darjeeling Hills and Sikkim have been stranded due to landslides triggered by heavy rainfall in north Bengal. The earth was being cleared on a war-footing late this evening.
Heavy rains had devastated a vital bridge link near Garidhura on the Kalijhora route near Siliguri on National Highway 10. This cut off hundreds of tourist vehicles carrying tourists returning to the plains after the Durga Puja holidays in the Himalayas.
“We were stranded for over three hours," Avisek Mishra, a tourist from south Bengal, told New Indian Express on the phone before boarding a bus for Kolkata from Siliguri. "Traffic policemen cleared the path for vehicles to pass but progress was at snail’s pace. We had no water or food."
Another returning tourist from North Sikkim, Biswa Prasanna Mishra, an IIT Kharagpur student, said, "We heard about the landslides on the way to Kalimpong. However, the landslips were cleared slowly and we took the normal route to Siliguri and did not have to take any detour. The route from Siliguri to Darjeeling was worse affected.”
The heavy rains have also affected the plains of north Bengal, causing the overflowing of major rivers including the Teesta and Jaldhaka.