POKHARA, Jan 22: The local authority here has decided to construct a 115 km cycle track in and out of Pokhara city as part of an initiative to promote local tourism in the area. Kaski District Development Committee (DDC) has already completed a survey of the proposed cycle route.
According to Kaski Local Development Officer (LDO) Ishwor Poudel, the construction of cycling track was aimed at promoting local tourism in the rural areas of the district.
"After the track is ready, both domestic and foreign tourists will find it easier to visit nearby rural areas. This will give a boost to local tourism in the areas around the Pokhara city,” said Poudel.
The cycle track will give tourists an additional reason to visit Pokhara, said Poudel. "If we can bring tourists to rural areas, the natural beauty would lure them to extend their stay, which means good business for us,” added Poudel.
The cycle track will start from Bindhyabasini temple and pass through Sarangkot VDC, Bhadaure Tamagi VDC, Chapakot VDC, Pumbibumdi VDC, Bharat Pokhari VDC, Nirmala Pokhari VDC, Kritinachnechaur VDC and Leknath municipality.
Poudel informed that the construction of the first phase of the cycle track would require an estimated Rs 50.34 million.
"After the completion of first phase, about 12 truss bridges have to be built over the rivers that cut across the cycle route,” said Poudel.
"Since 90 percent of the land demarcated for the track fall under forest areas, the cyclists will encounter wild animals and birds along the way,” said Poudel. The whole route can be cycled in three days, informed Poudel.
According to Poudel, only 12 km of the total cycle track needs to be constructed. "The remaining sections comprises of gravel roads and paths that pass through villages. We just need to widen them a bit,” said Poudel.
Besides the budget from the government, DDC hopes to secure financial support from Pokhara Sub-metropolitan Office, Leknath Municipality and from the VDCs touched by the track, informed Poudel.
“Since most of the tourists heading for the Annapurna circuit carry cycles with them, the track will be a major draw for them, and for us in the end," said Narayan Sapkota, chairperson of the Pokhara chapter of Trekking Agency Association of Nepal (TAAN).