Today, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh opened the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in Uttarakhand making smooth the way of pilgrims to Kailash Mansarovar. The 80-km long strategically rough road connecting Lipulekh pass ends at 17,000 feet height at Lipulekh pass closing the Tri-junction of India-China-Nepal. It is reportedly the lowest section of high Himalayas. The pilgrims will now be able to visit Kailash Mansarovar which is around 90 kms from the Lipulekh pass.
Mr Singh inaugurated the road through video-conferencing and said pilgrims going to Kailash Mansarovar will now be able to complete their journey in one week instead of three weeks. “With the completion of this crucial road link, the decades old dreams and aspirations of the local people and pilgrims have been fulfilled,” the Defence Minister said.
The road will further boost the local trade and economic growth in the region, said the minister. Military officials claimed the new route will also help in speedy movement of troops in the strategically key region bordering Tibet. On the occasion to open the road, a caravan of nine vehicles from Pithoragarh to Gunji were flagged off by Mr. Singh. It would be the shortest and cheapest route and also one fifth distance of road travel as compared to the other routes.
Chief Engineer of Project Hirak, Vimal Goswami, said, “After commissioning of the road, the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra from Lipulekh pass has become more convenient for pilgrims who can now return to India in one day after having the sacred darshan.”
Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari declared last year that the road will be completed by April 2020. BRO officer Mr Goswami stated, “While 51-km long portions, beyond Bundi, were constructed much earlier, followed by a 23-km long portion from Tawaghat to Lakhanpur, the most tough portion between Lakhanpur to Bundi posed challenges and took much time.”
“The 15-km long most challenging portion of the road from Nazang to Bundi was outsourced in 2015 to a private company under technical guidance of BRO engineers, which completed the portion despite all odds before the set date by the minister last year,” he added.