Arya objects to handing over Adi Kailash pilgrimage to private company

Saturday, 21 May 2022 | PNS | Nainital

The leader of opposition, Yashpal Arya has objected to the Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN) entering into a contract with a private company for conducting the pilgrimage to Adi Kailash. In a statement issued on Friday, Arya said that the KMVN has been conducting the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra since 1981. To utilise the time period when this Yatra is not held, the corporation started the Adi Kailash Yatra in 1994. Facing challenges in the initial period, the corporation built about a dozen accommodation sites on the Yatra route. Despite the harsh weather, many personnel of the KMVN served in these facilities while the local residents were also linked to income generation activities. This pilgrimage to Adi Kailash in Pithoragarh district has today become a special identity of the KMVN. Till some years ago, a considerable part of this pilgrimage was covered on foot but now roads have been built on the entire stretch. Arya said that the KMVN should now have been reaping the fruits of conducting the pilgrimage in difficult circumstances earlier but without entering a tender process, the corporation has entered into a contract with a private firm- Divine Mantra Agency for the next eight years to facilitate this pilgrimage. The company will conduct the pilgrimage but use facilities built by the corporation. Out of a ticket costing Rs 56,000 the corporation will get Rs 12,400. “If the KMVN which has been working in the tourism sector for many years, has a large infrastructure, staff and the support of the government system is inferior to a private company established some years ago, it raises questions at the government system. Why did the government hand this work to a private company without tender despite the successful conduct of the pilgrimage for about 30 years so far? The lack of tendering process shows that the government is also involved in corruption. The government should reconsider this decision, get it checked and restore the conduct of the pilgrimage to KMVN,” said Arya.

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