Kolkata: A sizable number of tourists from West Bengal have been stranded at Dras in Jammu & Kashmir since yesterday due to a major landslide on the road that runs from Leh to Srinagar.
The landslides that occurred yesterday early afternoon, is yet to be cleared although over 30 hours have passed by.
The exact number of tourists from Bengal stranded at Dras is not known but the number is estimated to be anything around 2,000. According to Abhijit Banerjee, one of the standard tourists, there is many as many as 6,000-odd tourists from all over India who have been stranded at Dras.
“Many of us are practically stranded under the open sky even as the temperature is nearly freezing. We have been speaking to the local administration here but they are paying little heed to our concerns. The only answer that we are getting from them is that the road will open. Meanwhile, the room rent at hotels and lodging facilities at Dras has shot up by many folds and also the prices of food have skyrocketed,” Banerjee said over the phone.
“There are several children, and elderly people who need to take medicines routinely. But Dras being a small town, the medicines are hardly available here. We cannot even take out money from the ATM due to the bank strike,” said Anima Basu, another tourist from Bengal who hails from Sodepur in North 24 Parganas.
Learning about the plight of the tourists from Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has directed the state government officials to get in touch with their counterparts in Jammu & Kashmir and try to help the standard tourists at the earliest possible.
Sources at state secretariat Nabanna said that the deputy commissioner of Kargil district has told them that all the tourists are safe and that they will be extended all possible help till the road to Srinagar is cleared for vehicle movement.