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Border Roads Organisation Rescues 175 Tourists Stranded After Heavy Snowfall

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BRO clearing roads after heavy snowfall in Sikkim stranded tourists. (Image: News18)

BRO cleared roads and provided shelter and evacuated stranded tourists following heavy snowfall in Sikkim

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) provided food and shelter to 175 tourists stranded in Sikkim following heavy snowfall and helped in their evacuation, officials said on Saturday.

Tourists visiting Sikkim due to attractions like Nathu La Pass, Harbhajan Baba Mandir, Zuluk, Gurudongmar Lake and Valley of Flowers were stranded after the state received unprecedented heavy rains, snow and hail storms between 15 to 17 March.

Many visitors were struck on the road without food and warm clothes as they planned to return to their hotels in Gangtok by night. “The tourists visiting these attractions got stuck at these places as the roads were covered with snow and sleet, making the move of cars and taxis very slippery and risky on these roads. Tourists, who went with the intention of coming back to their hotels at Gangtok by night, did not have any extra warm clothes for such cold weather. All tourists were stranded due to lack of warm clothing, food and a place to stay for the night,” Public Relations Officer (PRO), Defence Guwahati Lt Col Mahendra Rawat said.

The Karamyogis of BRO Project Swastik helped the stranded tourists, including women and children, provided them with shelter and food in their camp, and cleared the roads. The BRO also ensured the roads were operational within a short time of 6-8 hours.

Officials evacuated stranded tourists from the road in their vehicles and brought them to the camp. “Here, they were provided with a place to rest for the night, a hot cup of tea and meals for all. Medical attention by medical staff of BRO was given to those in need of it. Additional warm clothing and blankets were provided to them for the night in view of the extreme cold weather,” an official release said.

In the morning, officials shifted the tourists to Gangtok on their buses. The tourists and the local administration thanked the BRO for assisting, looking after and evacuating the 175 tourists and taxis back to Gangtok.

The Border Roads Organisation is a premier road construction organisation under the Ministry of Defence. Almost all roads near the border in the country are constructed and maintained by them. In Sikkim, Project Swastik of BRO is responsible for the roads to all these tourist places.

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