21st August, 2018 - Siliguri: Tourism stakeholders apprehend that many prospective visitors will shun the Darjeeling hills and Sikkim because of frequent rise in temperatures as they flock the region to enjoy the chill also.

In the past 24 hours, the maximum temperature in Darjeeling was 22.8 degrees Celsius, while it was 26.4 degrees Celsius in Gangtok.

Kalimpong recorded 30 degrees Celsius, while Tadong (near Gangtok) and Namchi experienced highest temperatures of 32.1 degrees Celsius and 28 degrees Celsius, respectively.

"Even at Mangan in North Sikkim, the temperature climbed to 32 degrees Celsius in the past 24 hours. In many hilly areas, the maximum temperature is four or five degrees Celsius above the normal," said a source.

Since the summer began this year, the mercury reached close to 30 degrees Celsius in the Sikkim capital many times.

Darjeeling also recorded nearly 25 degrees Celsius on a number of days.

"Such a rise in temperature at prominent destinations of the hills and Sikkim during the summer and even the monsoon has left us worried. It seems this is the new challenge the tourism industry has to face in the coming years," said Sandipan Ghosh, the general secretary of the Eastern Himalaya Travel & Tour Operators' Association.

According to the association, the rise in the temperature forced most of the hotels in Kalimpong and Gangtok to install fans in rooms.

"We spoke to some hoteliers in Kalimpong who said they were planning to install ACs. This is indeed something new for us. Tourists come to the hills to enjoy the chill. If the Arctic feeling is missing during day hours and even in the early evening hours, we apprehend the inflow of tourists might come down during the summer, considered to be one of the principal tourist seasons," said Debashis Maitra, the president of the association.

According an official of the India Meteorological Department, the monsoon trough has shifted southwards as recurring low pressure areas developed in Bay of Bengal and drew clouds. This has left a clear sky in north Bengal and Sikkim, leading to rise in day temperatures.

"If the trough shifts northwards, it rains in the region and the day temperature comes down. As it has been a reverse case during the past days, the mercury soared. There is a forecast of rainfall in the region in the next few days" said the official.

Copied From - https://www.telegraphindia.com/states/west-bengal/mercury-up-in-sikkim-253504

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