Border Road Organization (BRO) has achieved a milestone by successfully connecting Kailash Mansarovar route to Lipulekh pass in Uttarakhand making it easier for Kailash Mansarovar Yatris who can now avoid the difficult 90Km trek and move upto China border in vehicles.
The road was inaugurated on 8th May by Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh, who flagged off the first convoy of vehicles from Pithoragarh via video conferencing. Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSMEs Shri Nitin Gadkari has complemented the efforts of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for achieving the completion of road. Shri Gadkari said, the border villages are finally connected by roads for the first time and Kailash Mansarovar Yatris can now avoid the difficult 90Km trek and move upto China border in vehicles.
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 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 MansarovarYatra 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 yartris faced lot of difficulties. Now, this yatra will get completed by vehicles.
The construction of this road was hampered due to multiple problems. Constant snow fall, steep rise in altitude and extremely low temperatures restricted the working season to five months. Kailash MansarovarYatra took place in the working season from June to October and it coincided with move of locals and their logistics as well as movement of traders (for trade with China)thus further reducing the daily hours for construction.
In addition, there were numerous flash floods and cloud bursts over last few years which led to extensive damages. In the initial 20 Km, the mountains have hard rock 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.
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 tons of stores/ equipment into this sector.