indian army rescues tourists
Sikkim: Indian Army has rescued 2,500 tourists who were stranded in heavy snow in an area between 17 Mile and Natu La along the Jawaharlal Nehru Marg near the China border in Sikkim on Dec 29, 2018.IANS

Indian Army rescued over 1700 stranded tourists, due to heavy snowfall near Natu La in Sikkim, on Saturday.

"On December 27, approximately 1,500 to 1,700 tourists got stranded due to heavy snowfall between 13th Mile to Natu La. These tourists, traveling in nearly 300 taxis, were returning from Nathu La Pass - Tsomgo Lake on Friday evening and got stranded," said a senior Indian Army officer.

They were stranded in the midway at various points along Jawaharlal Nehru road as the motorable stretch was blocked by snow.

Seeing the helpless situation, the Indian Army immediately swung into action and initiated massive rescue operations despite poor visibility and inclement weather, the officer added.

The stranded tourists were provided relief including food, shelter, warm clothing and medicines, to ensure their safety from weather and high altitude.

Around 1700 tourists, including women, children and elderly persons, were rescued and almost 570 were accommodated at Army Camp at 17th Mile.

The Army has provided JCB and dozers to clear the snow and restore road connectivity at the earliest.

Indian Army is still carrying out evacuation process so that all stranded tourists are safely sent to the state capital Gangtok.