Annapurna Circuit declared safe for trekking
Kathmandu, July 23
Annapurna Circuit — one of the popular trekking routes that lies within the Annapurna mountain range of central Nepal — has been declared safe for trekking.
The announcement comes following the seismic damage assessment by Miyamoto International of Japan — a global structural and earthquake engineering firm — that had conducted the safety audit of a 200-kilometre trail, 30 bridges and 250 accommodations.
In the report launching ceremony of the ‘Damage Assessment of Annapurna Region’ organised by the Department of Tourism, today, H Kit Miyamoto, CEO of Miyamoto International, informed that only two kilometres of the trail in four different sub-sections need to be re-routed due to risk of landslides and boulders falling.
As per him, only three per cent of the accommodations suffered damages due to the earthquake, and all bridges are safe. However, he stressed on the post-monsoon assessment of the proposed new routes of the four sub-sections of the trail between Kimrong and Chomrong.
Tulasi Prasad Gautam, director general of Department of Tourism (DoT), said the assessment would help bring back trekkers. “We expect the study to help ease the worries of potential trekkers and it would be easier for them to get travel insurance, which is a major concern for people planning their trip to Nepal at present.”
Pokhara is the gateway to the Annapurna Circuit that also includes Thorong La and then to the barren landscape of lower Mustang and Muktinath, which form the popular trekking route for tourists.
After the devastating earthquake of April 25, the DoT had invited Miyamoto International to conduct a safety audit of the trekking routes of the Annapurna and Khumbu regions, where the world’s highest peak Mount Everest is located.
Damage assessment of the Annapurna region was conducted with the assistance of UK aid supported SAMARTH programme.
Similarly, International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group has provided support for the damage assessment of the Khumbu region. The DoT has informed that it will launch the safety audit report of the Khumbu region very soon.