New Delhi, May 8 : Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday inaugurated an 80- km strategically crucial road link from Dharchula in Uttarakhand to Lipulekh along China Border through video conference, ushering in a new era in undertaking Kailash Manasarovar Yatra and border area connectivity.
This road link would reduce time for pilgrims visiting Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet as it is around 90 kms from the Lipulekh pass. Mr Singh also flagged off a convoy of vehicles from Pithoragarh to Gunji through video conferencing. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have a special vision for the development of remote areas. Mr 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, Mr 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 KailashMansarovar. In this 80-kilometre 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 yatris faced a lot of difficulties.
“The other two roadways via Sikkim and Nepal are long. They entailed approximately 20 per cent land journeys on Indian roads and 80 per cent land journeys in China. With the opening of Ghatiabgarh-Lipulekh road, this ratio has been reversed. Now Pilgrims to Manasarovar will traverse 84 per cent land journeys on Indian Roads and only 16 per cent land Journeys in China. This is truly historic,” he commented.
While congratulating the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) engineers and personnel whose dedication made this achievement possible, the defence minister 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. Mr Singh said that BRO has been actively involved in the development of Garhwal as well as Kumaon region of Uttarakhand since beginning. He also congratulated all the BRO personnel for their role in nation building and conveyed his good wishes. (UNI)