New road between Sikkim and Nepal to promote tourism and trade

Photo Courtesy: The Telegraph

The Sikkim government is constructing a road from Uttarey in West Sikkim to Chiwa Bhanjyang in Nepal. The road coming up is at an altitude of about 10,500 feet from sea level.

This will be the first road link between Sikkim and Nepal which share almost 100 Km long common border. Nepal already has a road connecting Chiwa Bhanjyang, which is an antiquated village and a popular tourist place.

The 18 Km Uttarey-Chiwa Bhanjyang road is being constructed by the Sikkim road and bridges department at a cost of Rs 25 crore and is expected to be completed by end of this year.

N.K. Subba, the MLA of Maneybong-Dentam constituency under which Uttarey falls and who serves as the urban development and housing department minister, said the construction works were a bit delayed due to the delay in obtaining forest and environmental clearance.

Subba said the road link with Nepal will give a boost to the tourism and trade. “Tourists inflow to the area during the past six-seven years has been increasing year after year. The road will provide another entry point for tourists. Trade between Sikkim and eastern Nepal will also get a boost,” he said.

Singshore suspension bridge, believed to be the second highest in Asia in terms of altitude, is also located in the area. The bridge links Dentam with Uttarey.

Singhshore Suspension Bridge

Uttarey, which is located at a height of 6740 feet, is about 20 kilometres from Pelling, a tourist hotspot. The village is a starting point of many high-altitude trekking routes, including Uttarey- Chiwa Bhanjyang-Singalila, Uttarey-Chiwa Bhanjyang-Phoktey Dara and Uttarey-Chiwa Bhanjyang-Dzongri-Yuksom, among others.

The state government has set up the Tenzing-Hillary Park and is in the process of reviving an artificial lake located in the heart of the village to woo more tourists.