Uncertainty over Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, preparatory meetings yet to be held
The preparatory meetings for the yatra are held every year in January and February.
By BD Kasniyal
Uncertainty looms large over this year’s Kailash Mansarovar yatra as preparatory meetings are yet to be held and the district administration has not got any information from the Centre whether it will be held this year or not.
The preparatory meetings for the yatra are held every year in January and February. The yatra from Lipulekh Pass commences every year from June to September. The yatra is managed by Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam with the help of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the local administration. Last year, due to Covid-19 epidemic, the yatra was not held.
RD Paliwal, in-charge district magistrate (DM) Pithoragarh, said they have not got any information about the yatra this year. “As of now, we don’t know whether it will be held or not,” he said.
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Ashok Joshi, general manager, Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN), said, generally, the preparatory meetings for the yatra are held in January and February every year. "First few meetings are convened by the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi followed by a meeting in Pithoragarh which is attended by the representatives from the KMVN, the district administration and the ITBP. But this year, no meeting has been convened so far and we don’t know whether yatra will be held this year or not," said Joshi, General manager, KMVN.
“After the first few meetings in Delhi, the schedule for the yatra is prepared and sent to all concerned agencies by February first week so that final preparations could be made from March when the snow starts melting on the track,” he said.
According to KMVN officials, who look after matters related to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in Uttarakhand, the sacred yatra costs around ₹1.75 lakh per pilgrim. The yatra is held every summer for 25 days, including 8 days in China.
From Lipulekh route through Uttarakhand, the yatra is conducted in 18 batches with up to 60 pilgrims in each batch, while from Nathu La route through Sikkim, the yatra is held in 10 batches with 50 pilgrims each.
The KMVN provides logistical support and facilities for the pilgrims through Uttarakhand route.
In 2019, when the yatra was held the last time, 998 pilgrims had visited Kailash Mansarovar.