Bandhs affecting Darjeeling's Rs 500 crore tourism industry: ICC

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Kolkata, Jul 26 (UNI) The tourism business of Darjeeling, estimated at Rs 500 crore, including Rs 300 crore coming from foreign travellers, was being severely hit following the intense political turmoil in the hills.

An Indian Chamber of Commerce's published report stated that the political uncertainty had been adversely affecting the small and medium enteprise sector of the region valued at Rs 115 crore.

Besides, it was disrupting economic activities of the entire Northeastern region, including Sikkim, as it is the only conduit to these region.

The immediate affect was soaring prices and black-marketing of commodities as people have started stockpiling necessary items, the report said.

The agitation also hit hard on the tea sector, which was already plagued by a number of problems for past few years.

The workers of the tea gardens were badly affected as their earnings dipped further owing to violence in the hills.

Darjeeling tea, famous for its aroma and flavour worldwide, was also facing tough time to make supplies on time due to frequent transport strike.

The hill areas have been reeling under frequent bandhs and agitations since the past few months, called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), to demand a separate Gorkhaland state.

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