Border dispute halts infrastructure development in Shailung areaBoth Doramba of Ramechhap and Shailung of Dolakha lay claim to the tourist destination.
Several infrastructure projects in Shailung, a tourist destination on the border between Ramechhap and Dolakha, have been halted due to a longstanding border dispute between the two districts.
The Ministry of Financial Affairs and Planning in Bagmati Province has instructed Doramba Rural Municipality in Ramechhap and Shailung Rural Municipality in Dolakha to discontinue the ongoing construction works and to not initiate any new projects until the border dispute is resolved.
Both local units have been promoting tourism aggressively in the Shailung area by building tourism infrastructure.
“The construction of all infrastructure in Shailung area has been stopped for the time being due to the border dispute between Doramba and Shailung rural municipalities,” said Kailash Prasad Dhungel, the minister for financial affairs and planning.
The provincial ministry said it would resume infrastructure development in Shailung area after the border dispute is settled. Earlier, infrastructure development fell under the ambit of the local units. The Bagmati government allocated Rs10 million for the development of Shailung area in the current fiscal year.
“The government earlier planned to carry out development works through the local units but it is now impossible. The ministry will take charge of the development activities in the area,” said Dhungel.
Shailung, which means 100 hills in Tamang language, is an attractive tourist destination at an altitude of 3,147 metres above sea level. The local units that share a border have been building roads, foot trails, resting places and homestays on their sides with an aim to promote tourism. A gompa, roads, foot trails, homestays, Chautaras, and drinking water facilities are currently under construction in the Shailung area.
Both the local units are at loggerheads regarding the border of Shailung as they plan to bring the amount generated through tourism to their respective local units. A few months ago, Doramba Rural Municipality raised objection to Shailung Rural Municipality’s publicity campaign that claimed Shailung area lies entirely in Dolakha.
Shailung was a neglected area until a few years ago for a lack of road connectivity. “The number of tourists, both foreign and domestic, is increasing in recent years as the Nepal Tourism Board launched a publicity programme of an Adibasi/Janajati Trekking Route, including Shailung,” said Dawa Shangbu Sherpa of Doramba.
“The construction of roads on both sides of Ramechhap and Dolakha will further attract tourists to visit the area,” said Sherpa, adding that the footfall of tourists benefits both the local units. “The dispute should not affect tourism in the area.”