Police patrol along Annapurna trail to ensure travellers’ safetyMore than 250 tourists use the famous trekking route every day.
Manang Police have started to conduct regular patrols along the Annapurna Circuit trekking route to ensure the safety of the trekkers and travellers.
Although the trail is not technically dangerous, the increase in the number of trekkers—both domestic and international—prompted police to take precautionary measures, said Tika Bahadur Karki, deputy superintendent of police in Manang.
According to Manang Police data, more than 250 tourists are arriving in the Annapurna region every day.
A couple of German travellers, who were in Chame last week en route to Tilicho Lake, welcomed the move. “We are happy to have police personnel accompanying us along the foot trail,” a traveller said, adding, “This time, we aren’t afraid of losing our way and we feel more secure than before.”
Thorang La (5,416 metres) and Tilicho Lake (4,919 metres) are the main destinations of most of the travellers.
According to Karki, police personnel have been mobilised with small arms. “Police posts along the route are also monitoring travellers to ensure their safety. Police personnel have been helping travellers to reach their destinations,” he said.
Police patrols are being conducted in Pisang, Humde, Khangsar, Shreekharka up to Tilicho lake, Karki explained. “We have been organising awareness programmes with the locals, tourism entrepreneurs and guides to create a safe environment and help travellers reach their destinations.”
Police teams, each made up of four to five personnel, have been spending four to five days with a group of travellers on the trekking route. Karki said, “Providing security to tourists has been our top priority. We have also set up volunteer groups and put ‘search and rescue’ teams on stand by.”
Through these exercises, Manang Police aims to disseminate a message that mountainous areas are safe for tourists, thereby attracting more tourists to the region.
Manang Police have also had discussions with Chame Rural Municipality and other stakeholders concerned to ensure the safety of tourists in Lamjung Himal base camp. “We have also rescued many travellers who lost their way en route to the base camp,” said Karki.
Brija Gurung, an assistant at the Manang Area Conservation Office of Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), said the police’s move a positive one for tourism development in the region. “The Annapurna region receives more than 110,000 foreign trekkers annually. Ensuring the safety of visitors will encourage more to come and will send out a positive message across the world,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Manang Nisyang Rural Municipality Kanchha Ghale said they have been helping police personnel in maintaining security in Annapurna region. “Everyone should feel safe while travelling and what police are doing for travellers in the region is commendable,” he said.