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Single storied house has 3 Bedrooms,
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9 Jun 2017

Strike in Darjeeling... Thousands stranded; govt takes steps for their safety

Thousands stranded in Darjeeling; govt takes steps for their safetyMP | 8 Jun 2017 | Darjeeling: Thousands of tourists are left stranded in the Darjeeling Hills due to the ongoing strife in the region. With vehicles not plying in major parts of Darjeeling on Thursday and with the 12-hour bandh called by the Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha, tourists are finding it difficult to go down to Siliguri.
With clashes between GJM supporters and security forces on Thursday, a situation of panic has descended upon the Hills. Many tourists tried to leave the town in the evening but did not find vehicles. The few vehicles available were charging three times the normal fare. Ajoy Naskar and his family from Asansol had arrived in Darjeeling on Thursday. "When we tried to check in at the hotel, the manager told us that we have to stay at our own risk and advised us to leave the town today (Thursday). We are trying to arrange for a vehicle but have not managed to do so. We are helpless and don't know what to do," stated Naskar talking to Millennium Post.
Every year more than four lakh domestic tourists and 35,000 foreign tourists visit Darjeeling Hills. "I was strolling in Mall when suddenly there were loud sounds like that of bombs. At first I thought it was crackers but when I saw people running helter-skelter, I panicked. I too ran along with my kid and my wife. It was like a nightmare," stated Arun Sharma, a tourist from Delhi.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has stated that she will not leave the Hills till the situation is normal and the last tourist has left. The state government has also adopted measures to ease out the situation.
Meanwhile, Alapan Bandyopadhyay, the Principal Secretary of the Transport department, has announced that special state government buses will ply every two hours from 6 am to 8 am from Siliguri to Kolkata for distressed passengers. "Along with this, NBSTC will operate special air-conditioned buses from Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus in Siliguri to Kolkata at 5 pm, 6 pm and two buses at 7 pm. Stringent action will be taken against those who try to stop the plying of these buses.
The Bagdogra Airport will open at 5 am on Friday morning and will allow passengers inside the terminal building. Restaurants and the snack bar will start serving from 6 am. The state government is also trying to make arrangements for tourists to leave Darjeeling for Siliguri on Friday with police escort. "Tourism had got a major boost in recent times. The situation is bad. This will have a long-standing fallout. If tourism has to be salvaged, then a solution needs to be worked out immediately," stated Raj Basu, Convenor, Association for Conservation of Tourism.

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