India rejects Nepal’s protest against new road to Mansarovar
India and Nepal are in the process of scheduling Foreign Secretary level talks, which will be held once the dates are finalised between the two countries.
India on Saturday rejected Nepal’s protest against the construction of a road from Dharchula in Uttarakhand to Lipulekh on the border with China, stating that the “recently inaugurated road section in Pithoragarh district in the state of Uttarakhand lies completely in the territory of India.”
On Friday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the 80-km road that will curtail the time taken for the pilgrimage to Kailash-Mansarovar. With the construction of this road, pilgrims will not have to traverse through perilous high altitude routes that crisscross through Sikkim and Nepal.
However, Nepal expressed its regret at the inauguration of the road that connects Dharchula with Lipulekh. In a statement the Himalayan country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, the road “passes through Nepali territory”.
But India made it clear that “the road follows the pre-existing route used by the pilgrims of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.” It further added that “under the present project, the same road has been made pliable for the ease and convenience of pilgrims, locals and traders.”
“India and Nepal have established mechanisms to deal with all boundary matters. The boundary delineation exercise with Nepal is ongoing. India is committed to resolving outstanding boundary issues through diplomatic dialogue and in the spirit of our close and friendly bilateral relations with Nepal,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.
He also said that both India and Nepal are in the process of scheduling Foreign Secretary level talks, which will be held once the dates are finalised between the two sides.