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Thu, April 25, 2024

Rafting business in crisis due to hydel project

B360
B360 February 27, 2024, 12:11 pm
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BHARATPUR: Stakeholders have voiced their worries about the proposed Trishuli hydropower project, which could potentially disrupt the rafting industry. 

Preliminary work has begun on the 100 Megawatt (MW) Super Trishuli hydropower project, located in Battar area of Gandaki Rural Municipality-1 in Gorkha district and the Chumkhola area in Ichchakamana Rural Municipality-3 in Chitwan district. People's representatives, rafting entrepreneurs, and river conservation activists attended a public hearing held at Fisling in Ichchakamana, on Sunday. 

Krishna Silwal, member of Gandaki Province Assembly, emphasised that the environment and the rivers' existence should not be endangered in the name of development. He committed to doing his utmost to prevent this. Similarly, Shiva Adhikari, President of the Nepal Rafting Association, warned that the proposed hydroelectric project could jeopardise 84 companies involved in riverside rafting and boating. He highlighted that billions of investments in the hotel business, rafting, and other companies are at risk, potentially affecting the livelihoods of 3,500 guides and 10,000 workers.

Megh Aley, Chair of the Nepal River Conservation Trust (NRCT), argued that the nation's wealth, which draws many tourists, should not be put at risk. He described the prospect of drying up the river for development as regrettable. Nepal Association of Rafting Agencies (NARA) had previously protested, stating that the entire investment of the rafting tourism industry is being wasted due to the construction of hydroelectric projects.

Trishuli is one of the primary rivers for rafting among the 16 different rivers that the government has authorised for this activity.

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