On December 27, approximately 1500 to 1700 tourists were stranded due to heavy snowfall between 13th Mile to Natu La. These tourists, travelling 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 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.