GANGTOK- Sikkim police late on Thursday decided to stop issuing permits required to visit Tsomgo and Nathu-la from Friday onwards in view of the heavy snowfall. “If passes have already been issued, they stand cancelled,” said a police source.
Going by the weather forecast, more snowfall is likely to occur in the upper reaches of north and east Sikkim over the next few days. Consequently, tourist footfall is also expected to witness a further increase right up to the first week of the New Year despite the bar on travel to Tsomgo and Nathula.
Lachen and Lachung in the North Sikkim, Tsomgo (Changu) lake and Nathu-la in the Eastern Sikkim received snowfall in the past two days.
However according to Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation (STDC), Lachen and Lachung continued to remain open, tourists were advised to plan their visit bearing in mind that Zero Point and Yumthang in north Sikkim were rendered inaccessible because of heavy snow.
Visitors need permits to visit tourist hotspots in both north and east Sikkim since they are considered to be sensitive from the national security perspective because of their proximity to the Chinese border.
According to ta senior meteorologist, the prevailing weather condition would by and large continue till January 3. “There is a possibility of Gyalshing (in west Sikkim) also receiving snowfall in the next couple of days,”.