New Delhi:8/5/20; Ushering in a new era in undertaking Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra and border area connectivity, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh at a special event inaugurated the road link from Dharchula (Uttarakhand) to Lipulekh (China Border). Shri Rajnath Singh also flagged off a convoy of vehicles from Pithoragarh to Gunji through video conferencing.
Speaking on the occasion, Raksha Mantri said the Central Government and Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi have a special vision for the development of remote areas.
Shri Rajnath Singh said with the completion of this crucial road link, the decades-old dreams and aspirations of local people and pilgrims have been fulfilled. He expressed confidence that local trade and economic growth in the region would receive a boost with the operationalisation of this roadway.
Recalling that pilgrimage to Kailash-Manasarovar has been sacred and revered by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains, Shri Rajnath Singh said with the completion of this road link, the yatra could be completed in one week compared to 2-3 weeks it took earlier. The road originates from Ghatiabagarh and terminates at Lipulekh Pass, the gateway to Kailash-Mansarovar. In this 80 kilometer road, the altitude rises from 6,000 to 17,060 feet. With the completion of this project, the arduous trek through treacherous high-altitude terrain can now be avoided by the pilgrims of Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra. At present, the travel to Kailash-Mansarovar takes around two to three weeks through Sikkim or Nepal routes. Lipulekh route had a trek of 90 Km through high altitude terrain and the elderly yartris faced lot of difficulties.
The other two roadways via Sikkim and Nepal are along. They entailed approximately 20 percent of land journeys on Indian roads and 80 percent of land journeys in China. With the opening of Ghatiabgarh-Lipulekh road, this ratio has been reversed. Now Pilgrims to Manasarovar will traverse 84 percent land journeys on Indian Roads and only 16 percent land Journeys in China. This is truly historic, commented the Raksha Mantri.
While congratulating the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) engineers and personnel whose dedication made this achievement possible, Raksha Mantri mourned the loss of lives during the construction of this road. He praised the contribution of BRO personnel who live in far off places, and away from their families, that too in difficult times of COVID-19.
The event was attended by Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Lok Sabha Member of Parliament from Almora (Uttarakhand) Shri Ajay Tamta and senior officials of Ministry of Defence and BRO.