September 07 , 2016
A delegation of Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) on Tuesday congratulated newly appointed Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Shankar Bhandari and wished for his successful tenure.
TAAN President Chandra Prasad Rijal presented a congratulatory letter, bouquet and khadas to Minister Bhandari at the latter's office in Singhadurbar.
Similarly, TAAN General Secretary gave a brief history of TAAN and apprised Minister Bhandari of the programs and activities being carried out by TAAN.
TAAN delegation also handed over a memorandum, drawing the attention of Minister Bhandari general and the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation in particular toward problems faced by trekking agencies while operating groups in national parks and protected areas. Stating that lodge operators in national parks and conservation areas were creating hassles to trekkers and support staff, TAAN called on Minister Bhandari to deal the issue through Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC). Similarly, the delegation requested Minister Bhandari to make necessary direction to subordinate offices so that TAAN is allowed to keep TIMS check posts near other check posts in national parks and conservation areas. "This would eliminate unnecessary hassles that trekkers are facing," he added.
Stating that trekkers heading to the Everest region via Jiri and Manaslu Region were also being asked to pay entry fee of Gaurishankar Conservation Area and Annapurna Conservation Area, respectively, TAAN delegation urged the Minister to make needful policy intervention to end dual this dual entry fee system.
TAAN also requested Minister Bhandari to do the needful for allocation of budget to national parks and conservation areas so that they can develop and promote new tourism products in their respective areas. It also solicited the ministry's support to organize Eco Trekking Workshops to be organized in different tourist areas of the country.
The delegation also requested Minister Bhandari for reduction in permit fee of national parks and conservation areas for certain period of time, arguing that it would help relay positive message about Nepal in the international market and give some incentives to tourists to visit Nepal.
Responding to the delegation, Minister Bhandari expressed commitment to eliminate all problems that tourism entrepreneurs face while handling groups in national parks and wildlife conservation areas. He also directed Secretary at the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation to immediately call a joint meeting between Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and TAAN. "I will spare no effort to make sure that your genuine demands are addressed at the earliest. If your demand cannot be fulfilled, I will tell you why it cannot be fulfilled," he added.
TAAN Joint-Treasurer Krishna Man Shrestha and Executive Members Sarita Lama, Taranath Lamichhane 'Dinesh', Pemba Sherpa 'Sangam' and Surya Bahadur Ghimire as well as TAAN CEO Tek Bahadur Mahat and Secretariat staffers Bishnu Bhattarai and Prakash Khadka were present in the delegation.