Gangtok, November 4, 2011:
The Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Government of Sikkim has started providing the passes to the tourist visiting Tsongu and Nathula in North Sikkim. However, considering the safe passage of visiting tourist to all the above destination in the backdrop of earthquake on September 18 this year, the state has introduced undertaking system for tourists.
As per the official sources information until and unless the road connectivity is fully secure and restored for the tourist only the registered tour and travel
operators of state will be allowed to take their groups to the destinations
mentioned. The tour operators, travel agencies conducting tour trips for the tourist to North district as well as Tsongu, Nathula will have to fill up the undertaking forms undertaking that the travel agencies or tour operators organizing trips will take every precautionary measures in case any unforeseen incidents takes place along the road.
The department has also strictly discouraged one day trip to north Sikkim inclusive of night travel and has encouraged a package tour with minimum of 2days 3 nights.
Travel Agent Association of Sikkim (TAAS) Advisor and tour operator Paljor Lachungpa said that, the roads have been restored but presently the vehicles plying to Lachung has to travel through a tunnel measuring 6-8 km from Theng to Shipgyer which takes minimum of 20- 30 minute of time.
He informed that the inflow of tourist to north district is scanty but
is growing gradually
The inflow of domestic tourist as recorded by the Department of Tourism for the year 2011 till the month of August is 507253 and of Foreign Tourist till the month of July is 11610. But the department has been unable to update the inflow since the 18/9 and currently the department has started a survey across state to evaluate the inflow of tourist in state. The department has also started assembling of data on cancellation of booking since quake along with the loss incurred so far and the assessment of the data is being carried out extensively.