Flood leaves tourists stranded in Sauraha


Aug 14, 2017-

Tourism in Sauraha, a popular tourist destination has seen a sharp decline in business after the area was inundated  by incessant rainfall that triggered massive flood.

The rainfall raised water levels, causing Rapti River and Budhi Rapti River (Chitrasari Khola) to overflow. This trapped tourists in the area as they were unable to escape the flood. 

Tourists from China, Europe were among those rescued from the flooded area on Sunday.

Suman Ghimire, president of the Regional Hotel Association, said a total of 600 visitors were locked in due to the flooding. Similarly, 110 hotels were affected by the flood. According to Ghimire, half of the affected tourists were rescued as of Sunday afternoon. 

Apart from affecting the tourism business, the flood also damaged infrastructure including the solar system, transmission poles, roads and inns constructed at the bank of the flooded rivers. 

Likewise, the flood brushed away two four-wheelers and three motorcycles parked in the area. 

The flood entered some hotels on Saturday midnight. Shankar Sainju, operator of Hotel Wild Life Campus, said the water entered his hotel in the middle of the night and caused guests to wake up in alarm.

“After all 30 rooms on the ground floor were inundated, we shifted the guests to the rooms upstairs,” said Sainju adding that they were compelled to house 4-5 visitors in single room. 

The incessant rain also affected the rescue operation. The hotel entrepreneurs were seen using elephant to relocate the visitors.

According to entrepreneurs, the area had witnessed similar mayhem caused by a flood that took place over a decade ago. 

Damodar Regmi, secretary of the Regional Hotel Association, said the flood had damaged physical property to a large extent.

“It has badly affected the tourism business in Sauraha which started to revive after a slow down in business for a long time,” Regmi said.

A large number of officials from Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and Nepal Army along with the local people have been engaged in the rescue of the visitors. 

Tika Ram Giri, proprietor of Chitwan Gaida Lodge, said the flood also affected the property of National Nature Conservation Fund, Bio-diversity Conservation Centre and barrack of Nepal Army. 

Sauraha in the past few months had been witnessing few numbers of visitors due to the transport disruption from the poor road segment in Narayangadh-Mugling 

segment of Tribhuvan Highway.  

Home-stays operated by Amaltari Tharu Home-stay in Nawalparasi district have also been affected by the flood in Gundrahi Khola. Dhani Ram Mahato, manager of the home-stays said the flood had affected 18 out of 24 home-stays in the area. 

Published: 14-08-2017 08:56

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