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MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS GOVERNMENT OF INDIA KAILASH MANASAROVAR YATRA – 2012 1) Batch No. 7 2) Period:

From: 3/7/12 (reporting in Delhi) To: 2/8/12 (Arrival back in Delhi)

3) Name of Liaison Officer: Rajeev Shrivastava 4) Designation: Dy.Chief Engineer and Secy to AGM, Northern Railway. 5) Department: Indian Railways

6) NUMBER OF YATRIS: (a)

Original: 57 (two yatris dropped out at Dharchula on their own volition (b)

Beyond Gunji: 55 (c) Taklakot: 55. (d) Repeaters: nil

(e) Seriously sick: nil

(f) Seriously injured nil (g) Completed – (i) Kailash Parikrama: 51 (ii) Manasarovar Parikrama: 55

7) SICKNESS AND INJURIES: a) Types of sickness: none b) Types of injuries: none (except some minor bruises due to falling from horse in kailash parikrama – one yatri)

8) UNDISCIPLINED YATRIS: a) A list with details of conduct of undisciplined Yatris is attached:

Yes | No

9) REPEATERS: (No repeaters, hence not applicable) a) b) c) d)

Utility: ………….. Drawbacks: ……………. Conduct and discipline: …………….. Remarks: …………. 1


10) PONY, PONY HANDLER AND PORTER: A) Indian side: a) b) c) d) e) f)

Skill: Trained | Untrained | Semi-trained Service level: Good | Reasonable | Poor Utility: Yes | No | Can do without Drawbacks: Injury | Exploitation | Other (specify): None. Helpful to Yatris: Yes | No Reasons for fall of yatris: i. Trek | Careless Yatri | Careless Pony handler | Other (specify): Difficult terrain requiring concentration and attention for long periods ii. Complaints lodged: Yes | No | Why not?. g) Specific complaints: Written complaint handed over to KMVN manager/ Navidhang regarding not turning up of one pony. Porters/ ponies turning up late and occasionally not turning up at all was a problem faced by a few yatris. B) Chinese side: a) b) c) d)

Skill: Trained | Untrained | Semi-trained Service level: Good | Reasonable | Poor Utility: Yes | No | Can do without Drawbacks: Injury | Exploitation | Other (specify): language and cultural differences. Few porters were not helping yatris by holding their hands. e) Helpful to Yatris: Yes | No (Although some yatris had issues) f) Reasons for fall of yatris: i. Trek | Careless Yatri | Careless Pony handler | Other (specify): Trek route was busy and horse reared in alarm sensing some danger in an oncoming tibetan’s posture. ii. Complaints lodged: Yes | No | Why: No g) Specific complaints: Few porters were walking far ahead and not helping yatris.

11) KMVN SERVICES: A) Bus: a) Bus service:

Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor 2


b) Bus staff Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor c) Timings observed Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor d) Specific complaints: Kathgodam to Dharchula- old buses, bad suspension, insufficient leg room. On return, we were given two 27 seater buses in this stretch, with a request to accommodate one yatri in drivers cabin.

B) a) b) c) d) e) f) g) h) i) j) k)

Camps: Accommodation Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Service Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Cleanliness Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Quality of food Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Facilities Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Help to sick and injured Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Theft: Happened | Not happened | Reported | Not reported Electricity: Regular | Generator | 3-hour | 6-hour | 9-hour Hot Water: Regular | 2-hour | 3-hour | 4-hour | Morning | Evening Potable water: Regular | Bottled | Easily available | Short supply Specific complaints: None, except that hot water for bathing should be available in adequate quantity when yatris reach next camp.

C) Phone service: a) Mobile: Not available | Available | Good | Erratic b) Landline: Not available | Available | Good | Erratic (phone at Sirkha was out of order) c) Satellite: Good | Erratic (no signal in Gala, Budhi, Gunji, Kalapani) | No signal

12) ITBP a) b) c) d)

Security briefing: Useful | Easy to understand | Unduly Long | Not clear Medical service: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Security service: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Help to sick and injured: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor e) Specific complaints: Yatris who are on foot, are required to start from Navidhang for Lipulekh pass, half hour earlier than the yatris on ponies. In our batch, 4 yatris were on foot and were to start at 0230 hours. However, ITBP personnel required to start at 0230 did not arrive in time, nor were able to catch up with the walking yatris. At lipulekh pass, there is no signboard/ marker/ post etc and as a result, 4 yatris 3


crossed over into China without completing any formalities as neither ITBP nor Chinese officials were at the pass.

13) GUJARATI SAMAJ SADAN a) b) c) d) e) f) g) h)

Accommodation: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Service: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Cleanliness: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Quality of food: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Facilities: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Help to sick and injured: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Theft: Happened | Not happened | Reported | Not reported Specific complaints: Inadequate number of toilets

14) EXPERIENCE OF YATRA A) INDIAN SIDE: a) Motorable road: i. Condition: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor ii. Places where work is in progress to improve quality and time it might take to complete: Moradabad bypass (1 year), several locations in hills (time unknown) iii. Difficulties faced: Bad roads, accentuated by poor quality buses in hills iv. Specific complaints: Old poor quality buses in hills v. Alternative routes | roads: N.A. b) Trekking ways: i. Condition: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor ii. Places where work is in progress to improve quality iii. and time it might take to complete: None iv. Difficulties faced: None v. Specific complaints: None vi. Alternative routes | treks: N.A. c) Sightseeing landmarks: i. Places:. ii. To delete: none 4


iii. To add: None iv. Specific complaints: None -------------B) CHINESE SIDE: a) Motorable road i. Condition: Outstanding (where metalled) | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor (where non metalled) ii. Places where work is in progress to improve quality and time it might take to complete: No work in progress iii. Difficulties faced: None. iv. Specific complaints None v. Alternative routes | roads: N.A. b) Trekking ways i. Condition: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor ii. Places where work is in progress to improve quality and time it might take to complete: No work in progress iii. Difficulties faced: None iv. Specific complaints: None v. Alternative routes | treks: N.A. c) Sightseeing landmarks: i. Places: ii. To delete: None. iii. To add: None iv. Specific complaints: None

15) COST OF YATRA:

Very High | High | Reasonable | Low

16) CHINA A) Immigration service:

Easy | Helpful | Difficult | Negative | Fast | Slow

B) Taklakot: a) Accommodation:

Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor 5


b) c) d) e) f) g) h) i) j) k)

Food: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Facilities: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Service: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Staff: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Electricity: Regular ( 24 Hours) | Generator ( ……. Hours) Theft: Happened | Not happened | Reported | Not reported Weather: Very cold | Cold | Very hot | hot | Windy Clothes recommended: Light | Normal | Light woollen | Heavy woollen Bus | Vehicle: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Phone service: i. Mobile: No service | Available | Incoming | Outgoing | Good | Erratic ii. Landline: No service | Available | Good | Erratic iii. Satellite: Good | Erratic | No signal l) Specific remarks: None.

C) Darchen: a) Accommodation: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor b) Food: Outstanding | Very Good (own arrangement) | Good | Average | Poor c) Facilities: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor d) Service: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor e) Staff: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor f) Theft: Happened | Not happened | Reported | Not reported g) Electricity: Regular ( ……. Hours) | Generator ( 4-5 Hours) h) Phone service: i. Mobile: No service | Available | Incoming | Outgoing | Good | Erratic ii. Landline: No service | Available | Good | Erratic iii. Satellite: Good | Erratic | No signal i) Weather: Very cold | Cold | Very hot | hot | Windy j) Clothes recommended: Light | Normal | Light woollen | Heavy woollen k) Bus | Vehicle: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor l) Trek (Darchen-Deraphuk): i. Easy | Difficult | Risky | Dangerous | Steep slope | Steep rise | Rocky ii. Time Taken: 2 hours to 3 hours iii. Right time to trek: Trek starts at around 1200 noon as pony/ porters do not reach Yamdwar before 11 AM. m) Specific remarks: None. D) Deraphuk: a) Accommodation:

Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor 6


b) Food: Outstanding | Very Good (own arrangement)| Good | Average | Poor c) Facilities: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor d) Service: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor e) Staff: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor f) Theft: Happened | Not happened | Reported | Not reported g) Electricity: Regular ( ……. Hours) | Generator 3 Hours) h) Phone service: i. Mobile: No service | Available | Incoming | Outgoing | Good | Erratic ii. Landline: No service | Available | Good | Erratic iii. Satellite: Good | Erratic | No signal i) Weather: Very cold | Cold | Very hot | hot | Windy j) Clothes recommended: Light | Normal | Light woollen | Heavy woollen k) Trek (Deraphuk-Zongzerbu): i. Easy | Difficult | Risky | Dangerous | Steep slope | Steep rise | Rocky ii. Time Taken: 6.5 to 9.5 hours iii. Right time to trek: Yatris on foot to start at 0500 China time. l) Specific remarks: Initial 3 hour trek is in dark, so headlamps/ torches are essential for yatris on foot. E) Zongzerbu: m) Accommodation: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor n) Food: Outstanding | Very Good (own arrangement)| Good | Average | Poor o) Facilities: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor p) Service: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor q) Staff: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor r) Theft: Happened | Not happened | Reported | Not reported s) Electricity: Regular ( ……. Hours) | Generator 3 Hours) t) Phone service: iv. Mobile: No service | Available | Incoming | Outgoing | Good | Erratic v. Landline: No service | Available | Good | Erratic vi. Satellite: Good | Erratic | No signal u) Weather: Very cold | Cold | Very hot | hot | Windy v) Clothes recommended: Light | Normal | Light woollen | Heavy woollen a) Trek (Zongzerbu-Darchen): Trek is upto midpoint (6 km) from where vehicles take you to Darchen (6 kms), on additional payment. i. Easy | Difficult | Risky | Dangerous | Steep slope | Steep rise | Rocky ii. Time Taken: 2-3 hours iii. Right time to trek: after breakfast, 8 AM Chinese time. 7


b) Bus | Vehicle: c) Transport charges: d) Specific remarks: None F) a) b) c) d) e) f) g) h)

i) j) k) l)

Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Very high | High | Reasonable | Low

Qugu (Trigu): Accommodation: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Food: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Facilities: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Service: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Staff: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Theft: Happened | Not happened | Reported | Not reported Electricity: Regular ( ……. Hours) | Generator ( 3 Hours) Phone service: i. Mobile: No service | Available | Incoming | Outgoing | Good | Erratic ii. Landline: No service | Available | Good | Erratic iii. Satellite: Good | Erratic | No signal Weather: Very cold | Cold | Very hot | hot | Windy Clothes recommended: Light | Normal | Light woollen | Heavy woollen Bus | Vehicle: Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Specific remarks: None

G) Manasarovar Parikrama: a) b) c) d)

Bus | Vehicle: Weather: Clothes recommended: Right time to bathe:

e) Theft: f) Phone service: i. Mobile: ii. Landline: iii. Satellite:

Outstanding | Very Good | Good | Average | Poor Very cold | Cold | Very hot | hot | Windy Light | Normal | Light woollen | Heavy woollen Early morning | Morning | Noon | Afternoon | Late afternoon | Evening | Night | Late night Happened | Not happened | Reported | Not reported

No service | Available | Incoming | Outgoing | Good | Erratic No service | Available | Good | Erratic Good | Erratic | No signal

17) FEES AND CHARGES IN CHINA: a) Chinese Government fee: Very high | High | Reasonable | Low b) Pony: Very high | High | Reasonable | Low c) Pony handler: Very high | High | Reasonable | Low 8


d) Porter: e) Transport charges:

Very high | High | Reasonable | Low Very high | High | Reasonable | Low

18) ATTITUDE OF YATRIS a) b) c) d) e) f) g) h) i) j)

Before Gunji: After Gunji: Taklakot: Darchen: Deraphuk: Zongzerbu: During Manas Parikrama: Taklakot on return: Before Gunji on return: After Gunji on return:

Good | Tolerable | Bad Good | Tolerable | Bad Good | Tolerable | Bad Good | Tolerable | Bad Good | Tolerable | Bad Good | Tolerable | Bad Good | Tolerable | Bad Good | Tolerable | Bad Good | Tolerable | Bad Good | Tolerable | Bad

19) GROUP MANAGEMENT: a) Coherence among Yatris: Significant | Insignificant

20) CHINESE GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES:

Helpful | Unhelpful | Indifferent

21) VISIT TO OTHER PLACES RECOMMENDED: a) Ashtapad: Yes | No | Why: Nothing much to see. Only relevant to Jain community. If vehicles not running, it involves 12 km of trek after having trekked 6 km from Zongzarebu to road head, towards Darchen. b) Charan Sparsh: Yes | No | Why: It is the nearest you can get to Kailash. Has profound religious importance. Involves only 1.5 to 2 km of steep uphill trek which is not dangerous or risky. c) Other (Specify): None

22) ITINERARY a) Please complete the attached form of schedule of the Yatra with actual timings. b) Yatris were rushed to cover distances: Yes | No c) Scheduled timings were: Accurate | Inflated | Inadequate

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23) ASSESSMENT: (Please add sheet, if required) Yatris are not put to undue hardship and are not rushed through the treks. However, the treks are arduous, especially at high altitudes and even the slightest slip and fall can result in injuries. Hence there is always some risk attached to such treks. The yatra is a well organized affair and involves making arrangements in difficult terrain. KMVN, ITBP, Uttarakhand govt. and all other agencies do put in efforts to make the yatra successful.

24) SUGGESTIONS TO IMPROVE YATRA: Please see report attached.

(Please add sheet, if required)

(Rajeev Shrivastava) Dy.Chief Engineer & Secy to AGM, N. Ralway HQ Office, Baroda House, NEW DELHI. _____________________

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Suggestions to improve Yatra 1. In Gujrati Samaj, where stay arrangements are made through Delhi Govt’s Tirth Yatra Vikas Samiti – there is one night when there are two batches in Gujrati Samaj. One due to depart after medicals and the other which returns after completing the yatra. On this night, accommodation becomes a problem. I remember few members of the returning batch sleeping on the dormitory floor when they returned late in night. Remedy lies in advance reminder to Mr. Uday Kaushik when the batch is returning. I gave him a call, mentioning the exact no of yatris who will stay in Gujrati Samaj and we did not have any problems. 2. Arrangement of transport: The buses used for two days, from Kathgodam to Dharchula are old (ours were 7 years old), have bad suspension and insufficient leg space, causing immense hardship to yatris. People got backaches, neck pain and two ladies had to use cervical collars. As it is, the roads are bad and good quality buses will mitigate the hardship to a large extent. KMVN should be told to make amends. Further, two 27 seater buses are used but for batches having additional strength, local arrangement is made. For example, we were given an alto car while going to Dharchula and even this was withdrawn on return, requesting us to make the additional passenger sit with the driver in his cabin! Although we did not make a fuss, yet this type of local arrangement should not be allowed and specific provisions should exist in the contract detailing the type of vehicles to be provided. 3. At Dharchula, the TRH is infested with cockroaches. Pest control is required immediately. 4. The arrangement of porters is in a mess. Apparently supply is more than demand and there is a huge ruckus at Narayan Ashram, with young boys, some under influence of liquor, fighting shouting and pushing, trying to get their name included in the list of porters. The contractor is a local and there is immense pressure on him. The yatra adhikari is also helpless in face of so many people. Remedy lies in getting a police contingent at Narayan Ashram to see off the yatris and in having a transparent system in choosing the porters, strictly by rotation. 5. Accommodation at Sirkha: There is insufficient number of beds at Sirkha. We were 55 and there were three beds short. We tried to get additional beds but ultimately, two yatris had to sleep on the floor. 6. Uttarakhand govt’s doctor deputed between Dharchula-Gunji: The doctors deputed on the yatra by Uttarakhand Govt (CMO/Pithoragarh) are often last minute arrangements. These doctors must be asked to engage a pony and porter compulsorily. On return, we got a doctor (Dr. Santosh) who did not hire a pony despite our request. He in fact, was getting onto ponies engaged by yatris and encouraging the pony handler to walk slowly so as to stay in the back away from the yatri who had hired the pony. He was persuaded not to do so. These doctors should be given a list of life saving medicines which they should carry with them. In absence os such a list, they carry hardly anything of relevance, except basic first aid. 11


7. Communication: Satellite phone does not work in the gorge of river Kali. Thus there is no communication, if needed in case of emergency, in the most dangerous part of the journey, (Gala-Budhi-Gunji-Kalapani). The river runs North-South and as the satellite phone requires clear view of sky in West (45 degree), there is no coverage. There are wireless sets at each camp and at SSB (Sashastra Seema Bal) and ITBP camps enroute, 10-15 kms apart. In my view, we can procure a 25 watt lightweight portable wireless set (backpack type) available on DGS&D rate contract at around ₹ 10,000/- (weight around 5 kg). One set can be provided to each batch for use of L.O. and can be carried by a porter through common fund. This wireless set will enable continuous communication with the camps on either end of the day’s trip as well as the SSB/ ITBP camps through the already established communication network. 25 watt set will have sufficient power to communicate upto 10-20 kms away with similar sets already set up at SSB/ ITBP camps. If permission from China side is obtained to operate this set along with two or three hand held walkie talkies (5 watt) on permitted channels (like citizen band), the group can be in touch with it’s head and tail all the time even in Kailash parikrama. 8. The yatra adhikari at Dharchula is a very vital cog in the entire machinery on behalf of the Uttarakhand govt. His set up needs strengthening. Indian mobile networks work only upto 2 kms from Dharchula. Thereafter, sporadic coverage is available from across the border (Nepalese network) in the 50 odd km distance from Dharchula to Narayan Ashram. Yatra Adhikari has a 2 watt hand held walkie talkie which is not always within range from Sirkha or Dharchula base camps. Hence his official vehicle needs to be fitted with a 25 watt vhf set (costing around ₹ 10,000/- at DGS&D rate contract) so that he is in constant touch with the base camps. This is especially important as landslides between Dharchula-Narayan Ashram need his presence at site and batches cannot contact him in the interim, to get updates.

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KMY 2012 batch7 LO's report  

KMY 2012 batch7 LO's report

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