Lamjung, September 22
Thousands of tourists are facing a hard time on the Annapurna trekking route due to lack of health facilities.
As many as 200 tourists trek the route on a daily basis. However, there is no health facility in the area. Many domestic and international tourists have lost their lives due to altitude sickness for want of immediate treatment.
Binod Gurung, a tourism entrepreneur in Manang, said some tourists were compelled to carry homemade medicines due to lack of health facilities on the route. “Some tourists even abandon their trip midway due to lack of health facilities,” he added.
The Annapurna Trekking route that begins from Lamjung’sBesisahar is a seven-day journey. Trekkers get can avail health services only in Mustang. Some trekkers who are familiar with the route carry first aid kit with them and some others depend on homemade remedies.
Gurung said tourism entrepreneurs had been continuously demanding establishment of health centres at different places along the Annapurna trekking route.
“But our demands have not been addressed yet,” he added. Gurung said the number of tourist visiting the trekking route had increased of late.
Manang chief of Annapurna Conservation Area BabulalTiruwa informed that around 70 to 100 tourists travelled on the Annapurna trekking route on a daily basis.
As the trekking season has just started, the number of tourists may increase in the days ahead. Tiruwa said the authorities concerned and other stakeholders had to be serious about establishing health facilities along the trekking route.
“It is our responsibility to provide safety and security to tourists if we have to make tourism a sustainable business in the area,” he said.
A version of this article appears in print on September 23, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.