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India, China discuss 2nd Kailash-Manasarovar route

India and China today exchanged notes on modalities for opening the second route for the Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra in Tibet via Sikkim by June, that will allow more Indians to undertake the pilgrimage. 

The route through Nathu La Pass will facilitate comfortable travel for Indian pilgrims by buses. 
“India-China exchange notes on modalities for additional route for Kailash Manasarovar Yatra in 2015,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin twe .. 

The notes were exchanged between officials of the two sides after visiting External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held talks with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. 
Swaraj, on her maiden visit to China, had earlier in the day said opening of the new route would be a “big thing”. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping had promised opening the new route to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the former’s maiden visit to New Delhi in September last year. 

The two sides had agreed to work closely to ensure smooth commencement of the pilgrimage through the new route. 

The only route - Lipulekh Pass - was badly damaged in the floods in Uttarakhand in 2013. 
The MEA takes more than 1,000 pilgrims a year in 18 batches involving a 22-day journey. 
The new route for which Modi made a strong pitch during his first meeting with Xi on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Brazil was regarded as a boon for elderly Indian citizens who  .. 

Officials expect that the number of pilgrims could rise considerably once the new route is opened. 

‘We know we have to deliver, fast’
The BJP government is well aware that it has to deliver results quickly to keep up the hopes of people following its big mandate, senior party leader Sushma Swaraj said on Sunday. Addressing the NRI community here, the External Affairs Minister said: "We know this. We received a big mandate and we got it all based on hope. "We also know those who voted for us, voted with expectations. They can get despondent fast. People want results fast. We know we have to deliver," she said. "Whatever we do, we have to do fast," Swaraj said. Referring to the big mandate Modi government received after a long gap, the Minister said this was because people were disenchanted with coalition governments. The strong government in India also evoked big interest abroad to get their slice of India's big cake, Swaraj said, as she appealed to the NRI community to join a number of campaigns launched by Modi, including Clean India, Clean Ganga and Save the Girl Child. 
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