KATHMANDU: Landlocked country Nepal’s first cruise (Mini Ship) is under construction in the Narayani River, Chitwan.
The half-built cruise was brought with the help of two cranes from Butwal last Friday.
The remaining work on the cruise will be completed in water at Kavre Ghat of Ward Number 16 of Bharatpur Metropolitan City, managing director of Rhino Water Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. Ram Chandra Kandel said.
The construction of the cruise started in March and is estimated to be completed by the Dashain festival.
A 15-feet deep pond has been dug out to place the cruise in the water.
The cruise, after completion, will have the capacity to ferry around 300 passengers. According to Kandel, the cruise is 100 feet long and 22 feet wide.
As many as 50 workers, including some technicians from India, are busy constructing the cruise.
An investment of Rs. 50 million has already been made for building the port, that is, the parking place, for the cruise. Since the construction of the port required high cost, only one port was built, Kandel said.
“The government had set aside Rs. 10 million for building the port last fiscal year. We have invested the remaining Rs. 40 million ourselves,” he said.
The construction company estimated that the total cost for constructing the cruise will be at least Rs. 150 million.
Six youths from Chitwan were involved in the new venture by taking the land of Gyaneshwor Community Forest in lease.
Kandel said that route permission had already been taken from the concerned government agency to operate the cruise from Kavreghat to Devghat in the initial phase.
The distance between Kavreghat and Devghat is 25 kilometers. The cruise will take three hours to reach Devghat from Kavreghat.
The technicians from Singapore and India had conducted a study of the depth of the river water in January. Several other technical studies had been conducted thereafter, Kandel added.
He further said that the cruise would have a restaurant and a small seminar hall as well. “The goal of constructing the cruise is to promote tourism by offering entertainment to its passengers,” Kandel stated.
Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leader and former Finance Minister Surendra Pandey said that the construction of the cruise was new for Nepal but not impossible.
“If the cruise is properly publicised, it will be a new tourist destination,” Pandey said.
Pandey also said that after the construction of the cruise, people could enjoy its experience along with jungle safari, observation of culture and visit of religious sites in Chitwan.
“The Government of State 3 has supported the construction of the cruise as it is a noble concept,” said Krishna Prasad Bhurtel, State Assembly member.
Bhurtel also said that in his initiation, the State Government had allocated Rs. 20 million to support the construction of the cruise in the current fiscal year.
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