35 tourists still stranded in Sangla as valley remains cut off

Shimla: At least 35 tourists mostly from West Bengal are still stranded at Sangla  waiting for the road link to be restored as the Sangla Valley remained cut off from the rest of the country for the sixth day on Saturday.

Incessant rainfall in the region had triggered massive landslides that blocked the road leading to the valley in Kinnaur district.

‘The road link to the Sangla Valley couldn’t be restored so far. Landslides clearing operation is on and the road is likely to be re-opened for the motorists tomorrow (Sunday),’ Deputy Commissioner Mamta Chaudhary was quoted in the media.

‘All tourists are fine there and we have provided them lodging,’ she added.

The government airlifted out 40 tourists, including 24 foreigners on Friday. They had been stranded there since the road link snapped.

Meanwhile the West Bengal government has offered to foot the bill for the chopper for rescue operations, home secretary , West Bengal, Samar Ghosh was quoted in the media.

Ghosh said some of the tourists, who had been contacted over telephone, had complained of inadequacy of food and medicine. Payel Mukherjee of Kalyani, whose father-in-law is now stranded in Sangla, said, "They do not have enough money to return and they are facing acute problem of water and medicine."

Meanwhile, railway minister Mamata Banerjee said in Kolkata on Friday that the railways has been instrumental in rescuing state tourists. She said the railways had also arranged to set up makeshift camps for tourists who have been brought down from the mountains. Tickets were also being arranged for them. On Friday, train tickets were arranged for 31 tourists.

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