KATHMANDU, July 22: Boat service has been brought into operation in Fewa Lake, a famous tourist area of Nepal. The boat service, which was closed since the third week of April, resumed operations on Saturday. Masks have been made mandatory for tourists while boarding the boat and only four people are offered the ride at a time.
According to the Boat Entrepreneurs Committee, up to 6-7 people can board a boat at a time if they come from the same family or group. Even though the boat is in operation in Fewa Lake, the boat operators are seen as leisurely as not many tourists have visited Pokhara. They said that the tourists could not come as the prohibitory order was not fully lifted yet.
There are a total of 764 boats operating in Fewa Lake. Out of which, there are only 300 boats in Barahighat, said Mangal Bahadur Nepali, vice-president of Boat Entrepreneurs Association, Pokhara. According to him, only 8/10 boats are operating daily from Barahighat. "Before COVID-19, someone's turn to tour tourists came once a day and someone's turn came two to three times a day. But now we have to wait for 15 days for our turn to come,” he said. He said that they have to wait for at least 20/22 days to get their turn at Barahighat, which has 300 boats with only 8/10 boats plying daily.
Even though the boat service is open, the Barahi temple in the middle of Fewa Lake is not open. Because of which the boats are empty. Boat operators maintain that the number of boats could increase if the local administration decides to open the temple to the public.