Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday through video-conferencing inaugurated the strategically important Ghatiabagar-Lipulekh motor road that connects the last Indian post on the Indo-China border in Uttarakhand’s Vyas valley.
Rajnath Singh flagged off a caravan of nine vehicles from Pithoragarh to Gunji to mark the opening of the 75.54-km road.
The caravan included four small vehicles and some loaded vehicles of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, 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,” he said.
With the inauguration of the strategically vital road, over 80-km of tough Himalayan terrain, between the Mangti camp near Tawaghat and Gunji in the Vyas valley, and the security posts on the Indian side of the border, have become accessible.
Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had announced last year that the road will be completed by April 2020.
“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,” BRO officer Goswami said.
The construction of the road began in 2008 and was scheduled to be completed in 2013, but it got delayed due to the tough terrain in the portion between Nazang to Bundi village.
“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,” said the BRO officer.