ITBP gears up for Mansarovar yatra

NEW DELHI, JUNE 1. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has conducted a medical examination test of the first batch of Kailash Mansaroavar "yatris" who will leave on the month-long arduous journey to the Himalayas from the Capital on June 2. Apart from providing medical facilities to these pilgrims, ITBP is also responsible for their security and safety during the "yatra".

Briefing the first batch of 41 "yatris" at the ITBP Base Hospital here on Monday, the DIG (Operations), R.R. Bhatnagar, said they have made elaborate security arrangements involving trained and motivated disaster management teams for the "yatra". "These teams with enough equipment to tackle calamities have been positioned at various points along the course of journey. We have already identified the places where natural disaster could strike and positioned our rescue team there."

The ITBP would also conduct the high altitude medical check-up of these "yatris" at the camp in Gunji near Indo-China border where three ITBP doctors and other para medical staff had been deployed who would cater to all medical and emergency needs of these pilgrims. The medical staff as well as their personnel would also escort them up to Lipulekh Pass and receive them on their return journey from China, he said.

"On their entry into China, the pilgrims can utilise the arrangements made there through the liaison officer, who would accompany them to the last point and back. We have also established communication links with two satellite phones stationed in Budhi and Tawaghat to track their movement," said Mr. Bhatnagar.

A total of 16 batches will take part in this year's "yatra", jointly organised by the ITBP, the Ministry of External Affairs, the Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam and the Uttaranchal Government. The first batch will arrive in the Capital on June 27 while the last batch of pilgrims will leave on August 31 and return on September 25 to mark the end this year's "yatra" spread over a period of four months. Out of the 1023 km.-long "yatra", 824 km. will be covered by vehicle while pilgrims will trek 199 km. on foot, 67 km. in India and 132 km. in China.