Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday inaugurated the road link from Dharchula (Uttarakhand) to Lipulekh (China Border), 80-km long road route to curtail the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra time.
Minister also flagged off a convoy of vehicles from Pithoragarh to Gunji through video conferencing.
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.
“With the completion of this road link, the yatra could be completed in one week compared to 2-3 weeks it took earlier,” he said.
“The road originates from Ghatiabagarh and terminates at Lipulekh Pass, the gateway to Kailash-Mansarovar. 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,” Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
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 a lot of difficulties.
“The other two roadways via Sikkim and Nepal are along. They entailed approximately 20 per cent of land journeys on Indian roads and 80 per cent of 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,” Singh said.
While congratulating the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) engineers and personnel whose dedication made this achievement possible, he 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.