Tourists stranded at Rara in lack of flights

Kathmandu (Rashtriya Samachar Samiti): Tourists have been stranded at Rara Lake in Mugu on the occasion of Dashain due to heavy rains since October 19. Tourists have been stranded at Talcha Airport due to landslides and lack of flights to Mugu.

The flight to Karnali has come to a standstill as four airlines have been flying east. The land route has been completely closed due to continuous rains and the tourists have been stranded for a week.

Srijan Khatri of Nepalgunj had reached Rara on a motorcycle with eight friends from Kathmandu. The motorcycle broke down on the way. His friends have been waiting for a plane at the airport for three days to reach Nepalgunj by flight. “We have been stranded at the airport for three days since the aircraft did not arrive. We are running out of money too,” he said.

The Department of Water and Meteorology has forecast bad weather again from Saturday. More than 100 passengers are awaiting rescue at the airport. Due to continuous rainfall, the weather did not improve and not a single flight was operated at the airport from Monday to Wednesday.

There were only two flights operated on Thursday. He said that the tourists who came in packages from the capital Kathmandu and other districts were suffering due to lack of flights.

The pressure of passengers at the airport is unbearable. More than a hundred passengers are waiting for the plane at the airport. Most of the tourists who come to Rara lake by air are packaged to return after spending one night.

Airport chief Bishal Barun said that there was a problem of not being able to board the flight.

Nepal Airlines Corporation, Summit Air, Tara Air and Sita Air have been flying to Mugu. The Karnali-based airline has diverted the aircraft to the east and far west as land routes to various places were blocked due to the floods. Sita’s aircraft broke down in Nepalgunj due to a malfunction.

Summit’s aircraft is in the far western region. According to the airport office, Tara Air’s aircraft has been operating only one or two flights daily.

Chief District Officer Rom Mahat said that a letter has been sent to the concerned bodies and the airline for the rescue of the stranded passengers. He said that the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Karnali state government and the airlines have been informed and corresponded for regular and additional flights.

He said that the pressure of tourists coming to Rara lake for the Dashain holiday was so high that passengers had to wait for several days. It is wrong for an airline that flies to Karnali at other times to send planes elsewhere during festivals and when tourists come, he said.

According to the locals, the vehicles were tormented due to landslides at 14 places on Surkhet-Nagma Road and Nagma-Gamgadhi Road on the Karnali Highway.