What has happened?
- The proposal for widening of the road to the Lipulekh Pass area in Uttarakhand has led to another round of outrage in Nepal,
- With both Opposition and parties in the ruling coalition asking India to not undermine Nepal’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
- Nepal claims Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani area near the tri-junction with China as its own and issued a new political map earlier to justify its claim.
Announced by PM Modi
- During an election rally in the Haldwani area of Uttarakhand on December 30, Modi had announced that his government has extended a road to Lipulekh and further expansion work is going on.
- While the Nepal coalition government has so far remained silent on remarks by PM Narendra Modi last month on expansion of the road,
- The main ruling party, Nepali Congress, said in a statement Friday that India’s decision to further expand the road was objectionable. It also called upon India to immediately recall its troops from the area.
- Another ruling party, CPN (Unified Socialist), had said in a statement earlier this week that any development activity conducted in the area without consultation with the Nepal government is “totally illegal and it is a violation of our territorial integrity and national sovereignty”.
- “The Indian government knows very well that the area of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura are the sovereign territories of Nepal.
- We would like to request the government of Nepal to take necessary measures to protect our territory on the border,” said former PM Jhala Nath Khanal.
- The main opposition Nepal Communist Party-UML has also fuelled the uproar by calling upon India to put an end to activities that violate sovereignty, territorial integrity and self-respect of Nepal.
- The party has also urged the government to immediately start dialogue with India on the issue, and to ask India to stop “all kinds of bullying and to take fruitful initiative to establish practical ownership of Nepal over the encroached territories“.
About the dispute
- The boundary dispute between the two nations erupted after India unveiled its new political map in November 2019.
- Nepal protested after the Indian map showed Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as part of its own territory.
Why india is building the road?
- 80-km road in Uttarakhand will connect close to the Line of Actual Control and opens a new route for Kailash Mansarovar yatra via Lipulekh pass.
- The Indian government has maintained that that the road only follows the pre-existing route used by the pilgrims of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
- Under the present project, as the government earlier said, the same road has been made pliable for the ease and convenience of pilgrims, locals and traders.
- The link road is expected to help pilgrims visiting Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet by significantly reducing the travel time.
- Lipulekh pass is a far western point near Kalapani, a disputed border area between Nepal and India.
- Both the countries claim Kalapani as an integral part of their territory – India as part of Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district and Nepal as part of Darchula district.
- Though both sides have vowed to settle the boundary dispute through diplomatic and political talks and channels,
- No concrete bilateral negotiations have taken place yet.
Q) Which among the following rivers passes through Yang Yap Pass?