Gadkari lauds BRO for completing Kailash Mansarovar highway project

PTI, May 8, 2020, 9:01 PM IST

New Delhi: Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday complimented the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for completing the work of road connectivity from Dharchula to Lipulekh, popularly known as Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra route, which will ease the journey of pilgrims.

The newly built 80-km strategically crucial road connects the Lipulekh pass at a height of 17,000 feet along the border with China in Uttarakhand with Dharchula.

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.

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. Now, this yatra will get completed by vehicles.

The road was inaugurated on Friday by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who flagged off the first convoy of vehicles from Pithoragarh via video-conferencing.

“I congratulate Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for successfully connecting Kailash Mansarovar route to Lipulekh pass in Uttarakhand situated at a height of 17,060 feet.

The border villages are finally connected by roads for the first time and Kailash Mansarovar Yatris can now avoid the difficult 90 km trek and move upto China border in vehicles,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari said.

The minister, in an interview earlier, had said the project is likely to be completed by April.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a statement: “The Darchula – Lipulekh road is an extension of Pithoragarh-Tawaghat-Ghatiabagarh road. It originates from Ghatiabagarh and terminates at Lipulekh Pass, the gateway to Kailash Mansarovar. In this 80 km road, the altitude rises from 6,000 feet to 17,060 feet.”

“The construction of this road was hampered due to multiple problems. Constant snowfall, steep rise in altitude and extremely low temperatures restricted the working season to five months,” it said.

Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra took place in the working season from June to October and it coincided with the movement of locals and their logistics as well as the movement of traders (for trade with China), thus further reducing the daily hours for construction, it added.

In addition, there were numerous flash floods and cloud bursts over last few years which led to extensive damages. In the initial 20 kms, the mountains have hard rocks and are near vertical, due to which BRO has lost many lives and 25 equipment were also badly damaged due to falling into Kali Nadi, it said.

Despite all odds, in last two years, BRO could increase its output by 20 times by creating multiple attack points and inducting modern technology equipment. Helicopters were also extensively used to induct hundreds of tonnes of stores/ equipment into this sector, the statement said.

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