Gangtok, May 4 (PTI) A coordination meeting was held today on the upcoming Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, a Sikkim government official said.Also Read - Chinese TikTok Star Xiao Qiumei Falls to Death While Recording Livestream on a Crane, Video Surfaces

General Manager of Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation (STDC) Vijay Thapa put forward the note on the preparedness and management of the pilgrimage for this year. Also Read - Fire Breaks Out at Warehouse in China; 14 Killed, 26 Injured

Sikkim’s Additional Chief Secretary S C Gupta chaired the meeting. Also Read - Disregards Common Sense, Defies Science: China on WHO's Plan For 2nd Phase of Probe Into Covid Origins

The STDC general manager said that 10 batches of pilgrims will visit Kailash Mansarovar through the state this year.

The first batch of pilgrims, 50 people, will arrive in Sikkim on June 15 after clearing their medical examination in New Delhi and then they will be sent on a four-day acclimatisation to places called 15th Mile and Sherathang.

On the fifth day, the ‘yatris’ (pilgrims) will have to clear the final medical examination conducted by the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and after approval they will head towards the Chinese territory.

This schedule will be followed by all the 10 batches of pilgrims, Thapa said.

The additional chief secretary said that it was important for all departments to be cautious.

Gupta also highlighted the importance of print and social media and stressed on the need for publicity and awareness about the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, 2018 and passing on relevant information to them.

It was, therefore, essential to update and upload information on paper and online.

For social media #KMY2018 will be used for every tweet or status upload, he said.

They will have to maintain a clear communication so that all issues and emergencies could be handled promptly and efficiently, he said.

Heads of various departments of the state government, District Collector (East) Kapil Meena and other central organisations such as BRO, ITBP, NDRF, customs, immigration and BSNL attended the meeting today, a state government official said.

According to the central government, a total of 1,580 pilgrims will undertake the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra to China this year, with 500 of them taking the Nathu La pass route.

The Nathu La pass route for the yatra had been shut by the Chinese after the Doklam stand-off last year.

Earlier, in April this year, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh, in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha had said the yatra, for 2018, is scheduled to take place through the Lipulekh route in Uttarakhand and the Nathu La route in Sikkim from June to September.

“There will be 18 batches of 60 yatris each in the Lipulekh route and 10 batches of 50 yatris each in the Nathu La route,” Singh had said.

The new route through Nathu La in Sikkim was opened in 2015 after the older route through the Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand, the only route earlier, was badly damaged in the Uttarakhand floods in 2013.

At present, both the routes are operational and the route through the Nathu La (Sikkim) is motorable and suitable for senior citizens unable to undertake arduous trekking, and it is shorter, safer and more comfortable, officials said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.