New Route for Mansarovar
A new route via Nathu La Pass in Sikkim has become operational in 2015.
In 2015 a total of 216 Yatris had travelled in five batches on the new route via Nathu La for this Yatra. This year 7 batches are planned of 50 Yatris each.
Government of India takes various steps to facilitate the Yatra which include a dedicated website to further simplify and expedite the registration and selection process, communication with Yatris, and a helpline based on Interactive Voice Response System which provides information in Hindi and English to the Yatris. Medical tests are also conducted for Yatris to ensure their fitness for high altitude endurance. Provision for air-lift of Yatris by helicopter is also available in coordination with concerned agencies in case of emergency. One Liaison Officer is appointed for each batch. The Liaison Officer stays in touch with Indian and Chinese authorities concerned and seeks assistance in case of any emergency for the safety and well-being of Yatris. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) provides security cover and basic medical assistance to Yatris on the Indian side. Facilities are upgraded on a continuous basis along the entire route of the Yatra.
The Minister of State for the external Affairs Gen. Dr. V. K. Singh (Retd.) provided this information in reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.