Over 400 Indians stranded in Nepal's mountainous region of Hilsa and Simikot en route to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra due inclement weather have been evacuated.
The External Affairs Ministry said Nepal government and tour operators are making all possible arrangements for timely evacuation of pilgrims from Hilsa to Simikot and from Simikot to Nepalgunj.
“Our First Secretary from the Indian Embassy at Kathmandu visited Hilsa and Simikot and coordinated with the Nepalese authorities. More than 400 stranded yatris have been brought to Surkhet and Nepalgunj.
“As of now, there are no bottlenecks on the route. However, in view of the forecast of inclement weather, our Mission in Kathmandu has issued a travel advisory to Indian yatris to avoid the Nepal route,” said External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup.
He said Ministry of Tourism has also been requested to advise tour operators in India not to overbook and correctly brief pilgrims on facilities available. Around 500 Indians were stranded in Hilsa and Simikot sector.
The travel advisory issued by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu asked Indian citizens to avoid the Nepalgunj-Simikot-Hilsa route as weather conditions are expected to deteriorate in the weeks to come.
A large number of Indian citizens have been going to Kailash Mansarovar on their own or through arrangements by private operators via Nepalgunj-Simikot-Hilsa route.
“It has been noticed that a number of them are facing logistical problems in Hilsa and Simikot, primarily on account of bad weather which prevents regular evacuation from Hilsa to Simikot by helicopter and Simikot to Nepalgunj by fixed-wing aircraft,” it said.
The advisory further said “Since weather conditions are expected to deteriorate in the weeks to come, Indian citizens are advised to avoid the Nepalgunj-Simikot-Hilsa route.”
Hundreds of Indian pilgrims undertake Kailash Mansarovar yatra in the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China negotiating the mountainous terrain.