Sunset view seen from Patihani of Chitwan where an Umbrella Street is being built. Photos: Sarita Shrestha/Republica
CHITWAN, Nov 7: In view of the upcoming Visit Nepal Year 2020, the government is all set to complete the construction of an “umbrella street” alongside Rapti River in Patihani of Chitwan within this December. The under-construction street offers a spectacular sunset view. According the local authorities, 70 percent of the project has been completed and the rest will be done before the Visit Nepal Year 2020 begins.
"We are working on a war footing. The infrastructure has been built and now we are preparing to place umbrellas and decorate the street," said Bishnu Raj Mahato, chairperson of Bharatpur Municipality – 22, where the site lies.
"This is to woo the visitors. Walking alongside a clean river, with sunset view in sight would be a mesmerizing moment. It is going to be a wonderful experience," said Mahato. "We have named it 'sunset view point with umbrella' as there will be umbrellas above the street," he added.
According to Mahato, the project worth Rs 30.5 million may come into operation by December. Workers are now fixing umbrellas and pavements. "Even Chitwan National Park can be viewed from the street. Wildlife can be observed from close range. You can watch birds and other creatures," he said, adding that a total of 450 big umbrellas are being installed along the 90-meter long street, which is 12 meters wide. Similarly, there will be 300 chairs along the stretch.
Mahato further stated that the street can accommodate 700 visitors at a time. There will be fountains and other attractions like gardens and arts. "We have tried our best to make it look magnificent. The gardens are being designed and there will be fountains, and some original art and artifacts will excite the tourists," he said.
There will be restaurants nearby under public private partnership model. Local businesspersons have invested in this. According to Mahato, the restaurants have to follow some strict guidelines so as to maintain the originality of Chitwan and the unique ambiance of the place.
"We talked with the private sector several times regarding such restaurants. Our focus is on tourists. All we are doing is giving them best facilities but without compromising our originality and the special ambiance of this place," said Mahato. "Conservation and promotion of our art, culture, and traditions is our motto," he added.
The local authorities have also discussed about the parking area. There will be separate parking lots for two-wheelers and four-wheelers, according to Mahato.
"If we become negligent about the parking space, everything gets ruined. People will not be encouraged to come here and enjoy the trip. So, we have well thought of it beforehand," he said. "All the infrastructures are going to be classy," Mahato added.
He informed that the tourism ministry released Rs 10 million while Bharatpur Municipality and the ward office had to bear the rest of the financial burden for the project. "This is a mega project and the cost may reach up to Rs 40 million. Let's see," said Mahato.