Cyclists oppose national park entry fee hike

Kathmandu

Jul 29, 2014-

The government’s decision to increase entry fees for cycles at the popular trail of Shivapuri- Nagarjun National Park has discouraged hundreds of mountain bikers. As environmentalists have been making efforts to encourage the use of cycles to develop Kathmandu as a “cycle city”, such government decision, cyclists say, is detrimental to the recently evolved cycling culture in the Valley.

As per the updated fee, mountain bikes will be charged with Rs 1,000 per entry/per day whereas motorbikes will be charged with Rs 30 and cars, jeeps and microbuses with Rs 300. An avid cyclist, Sailendra Dongol, also involved with Kathmandu Cycle City said that such move from the government would discourage cycling. ”To some extent, the government may be trying to exclude cyclists from entering the park.”

“We have been organising meetings to discuss the fee hike. We plan to send a formal letter to the concerned authorities urging them to consider the price hike,” said Dongol.

Gopal Prasad Bhattarai, chief warden of the National Park, said the use of mountain bikes threatens the biodiversity as they reach every part of the jungle unlike motorbikes, cars and jeeps that travel along a specific road.

Raj Gyawali, a cyclist for whom the park is one of the best destinations, says the entry fee hike has discouraged him and many others like him. “Rs 1,000 for the entry of a mountain bike is too much. Also, the logic behind the fee hike is confusing as I believe cycles don’t disturb the biodiversity.” Gyawali further stressed on the need for the concerned authorities to fix a route for the cycles rather than hiking the fee. Cyclists also fear that the government may also increase entry fees for mountain bike in other national parks, discouraging the use of cycles in such areas. The Shivapuri- Nagarjun National Park is considered a good place for cycling.

 

Published: 30-07-2014 09:10

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