Visitors to Poon Hill not allowed to carry water

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By Thakur Prasad Acharya,Myagdi, Dec. 7: Tourists have been prohibited from taking drinking water to Ghodepani, a renowned tourist destination situated in Annapurna Rural Municipality-6 in  Myagdi district. 

A regulation stipulates that visitors who have reached Poon Hill must purchase and consume water from the teahouses operating in the area. Tourists have expressed dissatisfaction after they were prevented from carrying hot water in a thermos during their journey to Poon Hill, which lies at an altitude of 3,210 metres from sea level.

Anyone carrying water could be fined up to Rs. 3,000, according to a notice pasted on the entrance of the route to Poon Hill. Likewise, no one is allowed to carry gas cylinder.   

One has to walk  45 minutes to reach Poon Hill from Ghodepani. The rural municipality has now abided by the regulations implemented by the residents of Ghodepani concerning the tourists heading to Poon Hill.

All visitors are required to purchase and consume water from the tea shops operating in the area. The cost of a glass of hot water has been set at Rs. 130. While Poon Hill is undeniably a beautiful place, the rules in effect here are not deemed tourist-friendly. Anil Gurung, a visitor from Pokhara, expressed his frustration, stating, "There is a regulation prohibiting tourists from carrying hot water, which is quite inconvenient. This rule seems more like a syndicate than a service catering to tourists."

In the current fiscal year, the rural municipality has secured a contract amounting to Rs. 6.31 million, allowing them to charge entrance fees at tourist locations and manage coffee shops and restaurants for a year. Despite setting an entrance fee of Rs. 50 for domestic tourists and Rs. 150 for foreign tourists visiting Poon Hill, the fees for water, tea, and coffee are yet to be fixed. 

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