Nathu La Pass link reopens in quake-hit Sikkim

Nathu La Pass has been one of the three trading border posts between China and India.

Changu: Nathu La Pass, one of the three trading border posts between China and India, has been reopened for traffic after being hit by an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale that recently jolted India, Nepal and the Chinese region of Tibet.

Locals here expressed their delight over the reopening of the pass and said they were thankful to the Army personnel for providing them with food and medical treatment, after the earthquake ravaged the region.

"The road has been reopened; the public is relaxed as we are now getting the basic facilities and food. All the efforts have been made by the army, the army personnel provided us with food, water, medical treatment," said Phurba Sherpa, a local.

"As the pass has reopened, now our major priority is arrival of tourists. We are all dependent on tourists and others are with the BRO (Border Road Organisation). With the arrival of tourists, we would be able to retrieve our lives," Sherpa added.

The BRO officials here, however, said they faced major problems in relief operations due to landslides, continuous rainfall and unfavourable weather conditions.

"We are continuously working with the rescue teams from the day of the earthquake. The major problem that we faced was continuous fall of boulders from the top, personnel were deployed to keep a watch and whenever the boulders fell, we used to leave that area. The weather was also not favourable and it used to rain continuously and the weather was foggy," said Ravindar Kumar, Junior Engineer, Border Road Organisation.

A powerful earthquake with a 6.8 magnitude hit Sikkim and several areas in the eastern part of the country and neighbouring Nepal on the evening of September 18.

The epicentre of the quake was located in the Mangan and Sakyong areas, over 50 kilometres from Gangtok on the Sikkim-Nepal border.

Tremors were also felt in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chandigarh and Delhi.


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