Gangtok, June 19 (IANS) Tourism in Sikkim has been hit by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha-sponsored indefinite shutdown and clashes in neighbouring Darjeeling and Kalimpong, said Ugen T. Gyatso, Sikkim’s Tourism Minister.
Early on Monday, pro-Gorkhaland activists blocked National Highway 10 that connects Siliguri in North Bengal to Sikkim bringing traffic to a standstill.
According to the tourism department of Sikkim, there has been a fall in the number of tourists since the Darjeeling unrest as security is a major concern.
“Nearly 17-18 buses are plying every day between Sikkim and Siliguri in North Bengal. So the tourists are coming here. However, the number of tourists has gone down a little bit,” Gyatso told IANS.
“The tourists are a bit scared to come here as they would have to travel through the violence-stricken area. We are trying to sort out the situation by talking to the authorities,” he said.
On Monday, the GJM shutdown entered its eighth day to push for a separate Gorkhaland state.
Sikkim, situated roughly 126 km north of Darjeeling, is famous for its picturesque tourist destinations including its scenic capital Gangtok.