Devout believers take an annual holy pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar through Uttarakhand's Lipulekh Pass, connecting India to China. While the pilgrimage is now shrouded in uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the new route will give easy access to troops in the region.

India has completed the construction of a key route in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China at Lipulekh Pass, which connects the state to the Tibet region of China.

India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday sent off a convoy of vehicles on the newly constructed Link Road via videoconferencing.

The route constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) along the 17,060-foot high Lipulekh Pass will provide connectivity to the last villages of India on the LAC with China, access to security forces and a shorter distance for pilgrims. The Line of Actual Control is a loosely demarcated boundary between India and China.

The 80 km road has been constructed from Ghatiabgarh to Lipulekh, the pass near the tri-junction of India-China-Nepal and also the lowest point in this Himalayan range.

​However, the last five km close to Lipulekh Pass will be constructed by the end of the year by BRO after getting the required approval.  

China has been asking India to adopt a cautious and restrained attitude on infrastructure development in border areas as there are disputes over demarcation.

India has been constructing 61 roads ranging from Arunachal Pradesh to Uttarakhand and Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. A parliamentary report tabled this March claimed that the Border Road Organisation had completed 75 percent of the work on 3,323 kilometres of approved roads.

Besides this, 17 highways along eastern border areas are being converted to double lanes and for use as airstrips for fighter jets in war-like situations, these highways will have weapons storage dumps, landing lights, fuel, and firefighting equipment.