Stranded West Bengal tourists rescued


Shimla – More than 100 tourists from West Bengal who were stranded in Kalpa town of Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur district since Thursday due to heavy snow have been rescued. However, three families from Jharkhand are still stuck in Sangla Valley, officials said Sunday.

“All the tourists from Bengal, mainly from Kolkata, were rescued Saturday evening after the 13-km long road connectivity Rekong Peo and Kalpa was restored. They have left for their destinations,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Pankaj Sharma told IANS over phone.

He said 10 people from Jharkhand were still stuck in Sangla village which has also been cut off from the rest of the country due to heavy snow.

He said road connectivity Sangla village, which got cut off Thursday, is likely to be restored Sunday evening.

The picturesque Kalpa and Sangla Valley – which remain cut off from the rest of the country during winter owing to heavy snowfall – is some 250 km and 275 km from state capital Shimla.

In September last year, tourists from West Bengal remained stranded for five days in the Sangla Valley after incessant rainfall triggered massive landslides.

Most of them were later airlifted by the state-run chopper.

A government spokesperson here advised tourists not to venture into remote areas of the state during winter as chances of heavy snow and avalanches were high.

“The weather in Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti, Kullu and Chamba district is quite harsh. A sudden drop in the temperature, even in summer, can trigger winter-like conditions,” he said.