Bharat Khatri of Nepal Army and Phul Maya Syangbo have won the men and women categories, respectively, of the inaugural 1st TAAN Langtang-Gosainkunda Half Marathon 2016 held in Rasuwa district on May 29.
Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) organized the event on the occasion of 38th Establishment Day to disseminate the message that the Langtang-Gosainkunda region, which was devastated by the earthquakes of 2015, is now safe for tourism activities.
Khatri completed the 21-kilometer half marathon in 1 hour 22 minutes and 55 seconds. Similarly, Homlal Shrestha (1 hour 23 minutes 35 seconds) and Govinda Prasad Adhikari (1 hour 23 minutes 46 seconds) finished second and third, respectively. Similarly,
Syangbo, who won the women’s category, finished the race in 2 hours 7 minutes and 26 seconds. Kamala Tamang clinched the second position with the timing of 2 hours 18 minutes and 53 seconds while Binda BK, who clocked 2 hours 21 minutes and 17 seconds, finished the race in third position.
The 21-kilometer half marathon began from the sacred Gosainkunda Lake and went through Lauribina, Cholangpati, Chandanbari, Dimsa, Deurali and Ghattekhola before concluding at Dhunche. TAAN Secretary Mukti Pandey, who was a participant himself, inaugurated the half-marathon by cutting ribbon at the Gosainkunda Helipad. TAAN Executive Members Ngawang Nima Sherpa and Taranath Lamichhane also participated in the event as athletes.
Assistant CDO of Rasuwa Deepak KC handed over checks, medals and certificates to winners and runners-up. While winners in both the categories took home medals, certificates and Rs 50,000 each, while 1st runner-up and 2nd runner-up in both the categories received cash prize of Rs 30,000 and Rs 20,000, respectively, along with medals and certificates.
In her welcome speech, TAAN Executive Committee Member Sarita Lama said that the half-marathon was a part of TAAN initiative to promote tourism in Langtang-Gosainkunda region. “TAAN is with the people of this area. Together we should work for promotion of tourism products and services available here,” she added.
Presiding over the program, 1st Vice President Tej Bahadur Gurung, who chaired the program, said TAAN was encouraged by the immense success of the half-marathon despite short preparation time. “Support and cooperation extended by locals and concerned stakeholders of Rasuwa have encouraged us to make the event bigger in the coming years,” Gurung said, adding.
Nepal celebrated the 9th International Sagarmatha (Everest) Day with a colorful celebration in Kathmandu on May 29.
The program started with a morning procession from Sanchaya Kosh Building, Thamel. The procession passed through Keshar Mahal, Narayanhiti Museum, Duarbarmarg, Ghantaghar and Ratnapark before concluding at Nepal Tourism Board (NTB)
Everest Summiteers and other mountaineers, high-level government officials, representatives from different tourism associations and other tourism organizations, among others, were present in the program.
Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli inaugurated the program by offering garland to the statues of first Everest summiteers — Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary — and Boris Lisanevich.
After the welcome speech by Ang Tshering Sherpa, Member Secretary of International Sagarmatha (Everest) Day Main Organizing Committee and President of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), a minute of silence was observed in memory of known and unknown mountaineers who lost their life in Nepal.
Everest expedition, which had stopped after an avalanche hit climbing parties in spring of 2014, resumed this year, recording more than 400 successful summits.
On the occasion, PM Oli released first day cancellation of a special stamp published to mark International Sagarmatha (Everest) Day.
On behalf of all Nepali Everest summiteers, Pasang Tenzing Sherpa requested the government to ensure retirement plan and policy for mountaineers Sherpa and financial support to climbers who suffered physical disabilities during expeditions. He also suggested deputing a separate specialized rope fixing team above Camp Two of Mt Everest.
Similarly, on behalf of the foreign Everest summiteers, Isaih Paul Janzen from USA shared his experience of climbing Mt. Everest.
On the occasion, Deepak Raj Joshi, CEO of NTB, highlighted contribution of mountain tourism in Nepal’s overall tourism.
The government plans to spend Rs 140.7 billion in post-quake reconstruction and rehabilitation works in the next fiscal year.
Among others, the government has earmarked Rs 10 billion to begin construction of the much-talked-about Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track. Similarly, Rs 7.2 billion has been allocated for Gautam Buddha Regional International Airport; Rs 5 billion for Pokhara Regional International Airport; Rs 4.2 billion for Postal Highway; and Rs 1.50 billion has been set aside to acquire land for the construction of Second International Airport in Nijgad of Bara.
Similarly, the government has unveiled plans to repair airports in Jiri of Dolakha, Patan of Baitadi, Saphebagar of Achham, Gokuleshwor of Darchula, Rajbiraj of Saptari and Kanchanpur. Likewise, the government has allocated funds for expansion of airports in Dhangadhi, Dang and Biratnagar.
Similarly, the government has also allocated budget for Domestic Tourism Year 2073 BS and Visit Nepal Year 2018 AD.
The government has also announced plan to establish an integrated rescue centre for mountaineers to manage and make mountaineering tourism safe
The centres will be established in the areas of Everest, Annapurna and Rolwaling regions.
Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) is organizing a half marathon in Langtang-Gosainkunda region on May 29 coinciding with its 38th Establishment Day.
Organizing a press meet in Kathmandu on May 12, TAAN said that the event is being organized to disseminate the message that Langtang-Gosainkunda region, which was hit hard by the earthquakes of 2015, has bounced back and is receiving tourists as usual.
The race will begin from the Gosainkunda Lake and goes downhill through Lauribina, Cholangpati, Chandanbari, Dimsa and Deurali before concluding at Rasuwa district headquarters Dhunche.
The half-marathon, which is open to athletes above 18 years of age, will have two categories – men and female. Winners, first runners-up and second runners-up in both the categories will win medals, certificates and cash prize of Rs 50,000, Rs 30,000 and Rs 20,000, respectively.
Apart from half-marathon, TAAN is also organizing a short trek in the Langtang-Gosainkunda region for media persons. The main reason behind organizing this trek is to let journalists see the real situation of the Langtang-Gosainkunda region themselves. This will enable them to disseminate message through their respective media that the area is safe like other tourists destinations of the country.
Himalayan Cummunity Project is providing medical support to the event, while Langtang, Gosainkunda, Helambu Hotels Concern Committee is the logistics partner.
The announcement is as part of the government’s efforts of bringing tourism, which was hit by the devastating earthquakes of 2015 and Indian blockade, back on track. The country is already observing Nepali Year 2073 BS as ‘Ghumphir Barsha’ to promote domestic tourism.
The government had observed Nepal Tourism Year 2011 with much fanfare. However, the yearlong tourism promotional campaign failed to meet the target of welcoming one million tourists. The announcement, however, is expected to rejuvenate the tourism sector hit by the earthquakes and the blockade.
Apart from observing the year 2018 as Visit Nepal Year, the Policies and Programs for 2016/17 unveiled by the government on Sunday has plans and programs to upgrade existing tourist destinations, identifying new destinations, developing infrastructure in new areas, and promoting and marketing tourism products and services effectively in the international market.
The government has also said that it will implement a 10-year National Strategic Tourism Plan. In line with federal structure of the country, the government has announced to identify and develop at least one prime location as the center point in every federal states to develop as tourist destination.
Similarly, the government also plans to bring trekking and mountaineering permit system into one-window system. Tourism entrepreneurs have long been demanding that the tourism ministry introduce one-window system for better service delivery. Likewise, the government plans to set up integrated rescue centers in Everest and Annapurna regions to ensure trekkers on safety.
The government has also pledged to strictly implement air safety standards as per the international standard.