The Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (Taan) has earmarked nearly Rs100 million to explore new trekking trails and maintain and improve the existing paths besides promoting trekking in the domestic and international markets.
According to Taan, Rs8.79 million has been set aside for infrastructural development, maintenance and promotion of the existing trekking trails.
“We have selected trails from the Kanchenjunga region in eastern Nepal to Api Himal in far western Nepal,” said Lila Baldab Dahal, treasurer of Taan. “Taan will build the necessary infrastructure, enhance the capacity of locals so that they can cater to tourists, and produce promotional collateral to publicize the trails in the national and international markets.”
The umbrella association of Nepal’s trekking agencies has selected 63 trails for maintenance, infrastructure development and promotion. It will be spending Rs9 million on the exploration of new trekking trails.
According to Dahal, Taan will be exploring the Lamjung-Dudhpokhari, North Annapurna Base Camp from Lete, Sailung-Timal, Gaja Hill (Jogimara-Shaktikhor), Round Ramechhap and Chatara-Mainamini trails in the current fiscal year.
“The trails have been selected as per the request of local communities,” he said. Similarly, Taan will conduct mapping of the Hillary Trail (Ramechhap Chyama Danda to Lete) and Lower Solu.
Building a tourism memorial park in Timal, setting up mobile washrooms in tourist bus parks, developing cycling trails, installing solar street lights in Thamel, constructing a bridge over Mardi Khola and implementing the Khaptad Development Programme are some of the schemes that Taan will be starting in the current fiscal year. It is also building weather information centres in major trekking areas, a mountaineering school in Dhading and porter shelters in Gorkha besides implementing a trekking trail development programme in Api Himal in far western Nepal and Dhaulagiri Sanctuary.
According to Dahal, Taan is also building short trekking trails on the Kathmandu Valley rim. “To begin with, we will be developing the Thankot-Dahachok-Ramkot-Sitapaila trail,” he added.
It has also accorded priority to developing a new trekking trail in Sankhuwasabha. The trail starts at Amrang and passes through Lower Walung, Upper Walung, Ale Danda, Tashijongtar, Eyuwakhola and Mera Base Camp before ending at Makalu Base Camp. “We have allocated Rs1.6 million for the project,” added Dahal.
Taan is also building porter shelters in Damodar Kunda, Larkya Pass, Kagmara Base Camp and Lumbasumba trekking trail.
Under the tourism marketing and promotion plan in the international market, Taan said it had allocated Rs2.4 million for the US, Rs3.2 million for Russia, Rs2 million for South Asia, Rs800,000 each for the Middle East and Australia and Rs1.2 million for the Asian market.
It has also set aside Rs2.4 million to organize a cycling competition on the Lukla-Salleri-Patale-Okhaldhunga-Sindhuligadhi-Namobuddha-Dhulikhel route. Similarly, Rs1.2 million has been earmarked to promote the overland way to Everest (Kavre-Namobuddha-Sindhuli-Sindhuligadhi-Khotang Halesi-Okhaldhunga-Siddhicharan Park-Okhaldhunga-Salleri-Surke-Chaurikharka-Everest Base Camp).
THE KATHMANDU POST