Minister for road transport and highways (MoRTH) Nitin Gadkari said for the first time that the border is finally connected by roads.
Pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar will be less arduous and less time-consuming now with the opening up of the road connectivity from Dharchula to Lipulekh route by the defence minister Rajnath Singh on Friday.
The Darchula–Lipulekh road is an extension of Pithoragarh-Tawaghat-Ghatiabagarh road. The road originates from Ghatiabagarh and terminates at Lipulekh Pass, the gateway to Kailash Mansarovar. In this 80 km road, the altitude rises from 6000 feet 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 and the period of journey will be reduced by many days,” an official statement said. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) built the road.
Minister for road transport and highways (MoRTH) Nitin Gadkari said for the first time that the border is finally connected by roads. Kailash Mansarovar yatris can now avoid the difficult 90 km trek and move upto China border in vehicles.
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 construction of the stretch got hampered due to multiple problems. Constant snowfall, steep rise in altitude and extremely low temperatures restricted the working season to five months in a year. Kailash Mansarovar Yatra takes place from June to October.
“In addition, there were numerous flash floods and cloudbursts over last few years which led to extensive damages. In the initial 20 km of the stretch, the mountains have hard rock and are near vertical due to which BRO has lost many lives,” the statement said. Much equipment was also badly damaged due to falling into the river.