Quake destroys about a hundred hotels along Manaslu trekking route

Gorkha, May 14: Many hotels along the Manaslu Trekking Route in Gorkha district have been destroyed due to the earthquake on April 25 and many major aftershocks since then.

Structures of billions of rupees were destroyed in the Arughat Bazaar-Samagaun area along the Manaslu Trekking Route. As many as 128 hotels constructed at Arughat, Arkhet, Sotibazaar, Lapubesi, Machhakhola, Jagat, Filim, Chumchet, Chhekampar, Bihi, Prok, Syala, Samagaun, Samdo, and Dharmashala area are completely destroyed. Locals in the district were attracted on the hotel sector as foreign tourists’ arrival in the area was high of late.

The trekking route has been popular among the internal and external tourists after the roadway service was reached in the Annapurna Conservation Area. According to the Manaslu Conservation Area Project (MCAP), as many as 6,000 foreign tourists had visited northern Gorkha, Larkepass, and Manang district in 2014. Hundreds of internal tourists had also visited the area in 2014.

One can enjoy trekking of up to 27 days in the route to observe high mountains, hills, rivers and forests.Majority of the hotels in the trekking route have been ravaged in the earthquake but further reports will be brought after the detail study, said MCAP Chief Rajkumar Shrestha. As the landslide buried the road tracks in hundreds of places in Gorkha district, fewer people are seen heading to their destination using the alternative routes and removing landslide obstacles from the northern Gorkha, he added.

The tourists in the northern belt of Gorkha district have been airlifted to district headquarters while tourism entrepreneurs have taken shelters searching the safer places quitting their business in fear of possible aftershocks.

Laxmi Gurung, an hotelier said, “I had established a Hotel in Lapu taking Five million rupees on loan. Unfortunately, the hotel was collapsed on April 25. Still, I have to pay back 50 per cent loan.” She added, “The cracked rocks frequently fall down by small aftershocks so we are passing days and nights in fear. Let it aside to run the business.”

The Nepal Army personnel have been removing and repairing the roads to ease locals for their movement from local villages, said Aite Gurung of Birkuna of Lapu VDC. People in the northern belt of the district have been suffering scarcity of food as the roads damaged in innumerable of places to supply food, he added.

Meanwhile, Uddhav Prasad Timelsena, Chief District Office (CDO) said it has been difficult to supply food and other relief materials in the remote villages in lack of sufficient helicopters to transport rice and tents. The local administration has been trying its best to support the earthquake victims with the limited helicopters, he added. RSS