Darjeeling, Apr 30(ANI): Ongoing repair work at National Highway 55 (NH 55), which connects West Bengal's Darjeeling district with the rest of the country, has hampered tourism and business of roadside shops.
A massive landslide which occurred on the highway in June 2010 had resulted in the closure of the NH 55.
Locals of the area complained that the state government was negligent of their problems due to which their small businesses were making losses.
"For the last 11 months, the highway has been closed and government is not showing much interest towards the problem. Earlier, tourists used to come in our hotels and shops and give us business, but now there are no tourists because of poor accessibility," said Norden Lama, a shopkeeper.
"The highway was opened for two or three days during election time, but now it is closed again. The officials for National Highway are not interested in repairing the highway due to which its condition is very poor," he added.
The daily business of the roadside vendors and shopkeepers has come to a near standstill as tourist influx has diminished significantly in the past year.
"Earlier when the road was open, tourists used to come here in large numbers and give business to roadside shops but now everything has been shut down," said Suman Chettri, another shopkeeper of the region.
The locals and shopkeepers have urged the concerned authorities and the government to immediately repair and resume the transport links in the region for regular tourist movement. (ANI)
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