POKHARA, April 28: With the aim to stop encroachment of Few lake, the Pokhara Valley City Development Committee (PVCDC) has taken initiative to construct a 16 km foot trail around the lake. The cost for the construction of the trail has been estimated at Rs 1 billion and Rs 400 million has been already been spent.
According to Bhuwan Timilsinna, engineer of the committee, the committee had three years ago asked the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works to allocate necessary budget for the project but to no avail.
"But we could not start work then as they did not provide money," he said. However, this time the committee is hopeful that the government would take the matter seriously. It is more so because Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai during his visit to Pokhara last year had shown concerns over the growing encroachment of the lake and assured support for the trail.
Bishwa Prakash Lamichhane, former president of the committee and coordinator of the recently formed Fewa Conservation and Development Committee informed that the trail would be divided into several parts. "The foot trail is a long overdue. The route was outlined already in 2064 (2008 AD)," he said.
Around 3 km trail from Barahighat to Ghairachautari lined with attractive flowers and plants has already become a reality. It cost Rs 400 million so far and the fund was provided by PVCDC and ministries of local development, tourism and physical planning and works.
Lamichhane informed that no tree would be felled for making the trail. He also said the track could be completed within five years if the government provided funds on time.
Meanwhile, tourism entrepreneur Sundar Kumar Shrestha noted that the completion of the foot trail means longer stay by domestic and foreign tourists as many of them land in Pokhara just to roam around the lake.