KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) is developing two eco-friendly trekking trails as a part of its tourism infrastructure development project.
Once the new trails are developed, Dakchhinkali will be connected with Sundarijal and Budanilkantha with Gosaikunda.
The government move comes at a time when the private sector is also focusing on development of new trekking trails to bring in more foreign visitors.
According to Prakash Raghubanshi, project manager of the Tourism Infrastructure Development Project, under the MoCTCA, each trail that the government is developing is estimated to be 35 km to 40 km long and 2 m wide. The ministry has already asked Nepali contractors to submit bid documents for development of the two trails.
“We will be constructing the trails in different phases. In each phase, we will complete construction of 8 km to 10 km of trails,” he said.
The government is planning to complete Mulkharka-Borlang Bhanjyang section of the Dakchhinkali-Sundarijal trail and Sagarkunda-Rauchuli section of the Budanilkantha-Gosaikunda trail by the end of the current fiscal year. “The next construction phase will commence once additional budget is allocated,” Raghubanshi said. The government is also planning to build sheds on the Budanilkantha-Gosaikunda trail.
The Dakchhinkali-Sundarijal trail will pass through Matatirtha, Budanilkanta and Shivapuri before ending at Sundarijal. The Budanilkantha-Gosaikunda trail, on the other hand, will pass through Nuwakot.
“In order to make both the trails eco-friendly, the ministry will be resorting to eco-friendly measures during the construction phase,” Raghubanshi said. “For example, we are using stones instead of sand. But the major challenge will be to save as many trees as possible, as most of the area selected for trail construction is covered with forests.”
Lately, both the government and the private sector are working on opening or developing new trekking trails, as trekking is one of the favorite pastimes of tourists.
In last two years, the Trekking Agencies´ Association of Nepal alone developed five trekking trails – Nagi-Narchyang (Myagdi-Parbat), Dhorpatan (Myagdi-Baglung), Panchpokhari (Sindhupalchowk), Lower Solu (Solukhumbu) and Guerilla Trek.