Gangtok, March 26: The Army and Border Road officials have rescued more than 1400 tourists who were stranded due to heavy snowfall in Sikkim this month, so far.
Sikkim experiences heavy winter snowfall every year, but this year’s snowfall pattern has been peculiar as the State witnessed late but concentrated snowfall. Despite intimidating altitudes and freezing temperatures, the Trishakti Corps and Border Roads Organisation (BRO) launched massive joint snow-clearing operations amid inhospitable weather conditions, aimed at clearing the heavy snow to keep the strategic roads and communication lines open, facilitating the movement of locals, military personnel, and tourists.
The Trishakti Corps regularly rescues tourists stranded due to sudden snowfall. On March 11 and 15, major rescue missions were conducted in East Sikkim under “Operation Himrahat”. A total of 1400 stranded tourists were rescued to safety in sub-zero temperatures.
“Snow clearance this year has been particularly challenging, considering the concentrated spells of snowfall, freezing any movement of civilians and army personnel. Army sappers deployed at altitudes ranging from 14,000 to 18,000 feet are relentlessly executing the snow clearance. These missions are not only benefiting the army but also the locals and tourists who are heavily dependent on the opening of roads,” said an army official.
The roads and communication lines connecting major towns, villages, and forward areas get blocked due to heavy snow accumulation, and the Indian Army is working tirelessly to keep these important roads open, ensuring connectivity throughout the winter season.