TANAHUN, Nov 9: Rafters and others interested in water activities are attracted toward Seti River these days as they find it warmer and more comfortable. Even as the winter is about to start, domestic and international tourists continue to visit the district to participate in water activities in the river.
Seti is one of the two rivers, the other being Madi, that flow down via Damauli of Tanahun district.
According to locals, the peak time for fun water activities is March-May but rafting could also be done during September-November in Seti.
Rafting starting from Damauli's China pool, around the premises of Vyas cave, goes downstream toward the border of Tanahun and Chitwan. It takes two to three days to complete the trip.
“Seti River is a zero thermal river of Nepal. It is warm even in winter season,” said Rameshwor Shrestha, senior rafting guard of Yeti Holidays. “Other rivers like Trishuli, Bhotekoshi and Kali Gandaki are cold and have high current.”
Shrestha claimed that Seti is safer than other rivers. “Water activities in Seti River are suitable especially for aging people and those who are doing it for the first time. Aging people do not like to go to rivers with high current," he said. "Seti River has great prospects for water-based activities. However, its pollution is a challenge. Tourists don't like to go into polluted water."
According to rafting guides, unrestricted extraction of pebbles and sand is creating problems in the waterbed.
According to Rameshwor Shrestha, senior rafting guard, Tanahun locals could greatly benefit if this sector could be better managed. "There is lack of places for lunch in Tanahun. If they can build nice restaurants and places to eat along the way, locals could earn a lot,” he said, “It is not hard to earn money if they focus on providing good services and facilities.”
According to Hari Singh Gurung, chairperson of Heritage Nepal, Seti River is regarded safe and convenient for fun water activities, which could be carried out round the year. “The water flows towards the plain area, which is the main reason that it is safer than other rivers,” said Gurung. Those who went to Trishuli River previously are gradually turning to Seti River, according to him.
According to local rafting guides, Seti River was clear until 10 years ago but now extraction of sand and pebbles, and dumping of garbage near the river are causing problems.