KATHMANDU: The UKaid funded construction of a cantilever pathway and approach trail at a critical crossing along the Budhi Gandaki River in Gorkha district, which is expected to ease journey of northern Gorkha locals and trekkers.
"The construction of the 195-metre steel cantilever pathway, with 55 metres of approach trail, was recently completed along Yaru Bagar of the Budhi Gandaki River in Kerauja VDC of Gorkha district," the UKaid said in a statement.
The pathway is said to be the first of its kind in Nepal.
According to the statement, around 8,000 locals in eight northern VDCs of the Gorkha district would benefit from the structure.
Landslides triggered by the 2015 earthquake had blocked the river. As a result, the river had changed its course eastwards and the trails at Jagat Gaun in Sirdibas and Yaru Bagar in Kerauja were swept away. Villages consequently were cut-off, unable to use their usual trails to bring food and other daily supplies from Aarughat.
The alternative trails they were forced to use were difficult and long.
A local, Kanchha Gurung, also the chairperson of the approach trail users’ committee, in the statement applauded the construction and the impact it would have on peoples’ livelihoods.
Reduced transportation costs would lead to a fall in commodity prices and enable the local community to buy rice grain from Aarughat for a third of the post-earthquake price, he hoped.
The opening of the pathway would also provide students with a safe route to their local school and allow the Manaslu trekking route, which was obstructed post-earthquake, to reopen to trekkers.
UKaid provided financial support for the construction of the pathway and Samarth-Nepal Market Development Programme (Samarth-NMDP) implemented the construction in coordination with the Gorkha District Development Committee and the Department of Tourism, according to the statement.
The pathway was completed over a two month period, from April to June 2016, at a total cost of Rs 37.5 million.
The cantilever pathway, however, would be formally inaugurated in August 2016 only.