Tourist exodus from Sikkim as GJM relaxes bandh period

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Gangtok, Jun 11 (UNI) The exodus of tourists from Sikkim was completed today with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) relaxed the Darjeeling hills bandh till 0600 hrs on Saturday.

Hundreds of tourists used the relaxation period to scamper off from Gangtok to reach the nearest railway station and airport at Bagdogra, 114 km away from here.

The East district administration, police, tourism department and tour operators extended all the help to the tourists who had gathered in large numbers at the Sikkim Nationalised Transport office in Gangtok from early morning.

As soon the bandh relaxation news filtered down, visible relief was observed among the tourists and the administration.

Twelve buses, packed with tourists left Gangtok by 0500 hrs with one more bus to spare.

With the shortage of buses, the administration made use of even the government college and prison buses to ferry the tourists.

Some tourists made their exit in passenger taxis from the Deroali taxi stand.

The administration said this was the last lot of the stranded tourists and only a few remained as the bandh had been relaxed up to Saturday.

Tour operators said the bandh did not affect the tourism season in Sikkim as it was already at its fag end.

The Darjeeling hill bandh had paralysed vehicular traffic along the NH 31 A, the life line of Sikkim that connects the Himalayan state with other parts of the country.

UNI BG KK SBC AS1817

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