The Mardi Himal trek, a lesser-known trekking route in the Annapurna region, is getting popularity lately by attracting both domestic and foreign tourists. The trekking route that offers arresting views of the Himalaya mountain range was almost forgotten until almost a decade ago.
Its popularity has been lately increasing across the globe for its being one of the best and challenging treks in the world. The trek is lined up with hospitality facilities including around 80 small and big hotels and restaurants to serve visiting tourists. However, there lack a variety of other facilities like electricity, internet and telephone. As a result, tourists and local people visiting the area have to suffer a lot; they have to face various problems like not getting their gadgets and electric appliances charged. But, efforts are on to equip with the trek with electricity, said local people.
The transmission line has reached up to Kalimati of Mardi, Ghalel and Pritam Daurali. The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is at work to expand electricity along the trek with the initiatives by the local tourism entrepreneurs and the Machhapuchre rural municipality. The NEA Gandaki Provincial Office has called a bidding for expanding electricity up to the upper area of Mardi, said Ram Gurung, ward chair of the rural municipality-8. “We had for long been demanding the electrification of Mardi. The NEA has started the process of expanding electricity. This will contribute to the local tourism,” he said. The Pokhara distribution centre had last year carried out a study on expanding electricity to the upper camp through a high tension line from the transformer at Kalimati or Siding in the rural municipality.
The NEA has prioritised the electricity expansion. The tourists have to face various problems without electricity ranging from not getting their gadgets charged, said owner of the local Mardi Himal eco village, Shiva Prasad Bhandari, also the founding secretary of the Mardi Himal trek management committee. Some areas of the village are provided with solar power and internet. But, they do not work properly when the weather is bad, he said. “The main problem here is lack of electricity. Tourists have been deprived of facilities without power. With the increasing inflow of tourists, the number of hotels has increased. But, there are not facilities. We are now encouraged by the NEA’s initiatives to expand power,” he said