The beauty of Gurdungmar Lake in Sikkim is beyond words. Millions of tourists flock there every year to this natural attraction. However, being located at a high altitude above the sea level, the supply of oxygen to various places of interest in Sikkim, including this lake, is extremely low. It is difficult to foresee any danger hidden behind this snowy beauty every moment for the travel lovers. That is why the Sikkim government has made it mandatory to keep portable oxygen cans or canisters in all vehicles.
This rule is going to be effective from 1st July. The Secretary, Department of Transport, State Government of Sikkim, Raj Yadav has issued guidelines to this effect. The directive states that portable oxygen kits should be made mandatory in all vehicles entering the high hilly areas of Sikkim. This area includes Lachen, Lachung, Gurdongmar Lake and Yamthang.
Surrounded by mountains in the eastern Himalayan region, these places have become the first choice of tourists for many years. Many Bengalis come from all over India especially from our West Bengal to enjoy the beauty of these places. But being located so high above sea level, the concentration of oxygen in these places is quite low. Recently several cases of respiratory problems of tourists have been reported to the Sikkim administration.
Such problems have been heard repeatedly in the last few days from several areas of this place including Changu Lake, Nathula, Baba Mandir. Due to the low concentration of oxygen, the elderly and children are suffering from breathing problems. The Sikkim government is going to take this early warning to avoid the biggest problem in the coming days. All vehicles coming to this place will have to obey this new rule. This rule also applies to vehicles owned by different persons.
The Sikkim administration informed that all these oxygen kits and canisters must have the approval of the state health department. From July 1, every car will be checked by the police and motor vehicles department officials to ensure that they have this oxygen kit.