CHITWAN- The motorboat service in the Narayani River has come back to operation with an exit of monsoon. The motorboat operation along the river was temporarily suspended due to rising water levels caused by the monsoon rains.
Monsoon rains tentatively forced the service closure for complete three months from Asar to Bhadau (mid-June to mid-September). However, this year the closure extended due to a delayed monsoon, according to Narayani Motorboat Entrepreneurs Association chair Ashesh Malla.
In recent times, the availability of motorboat services on the river has attracted a growing number of domestic tourists. Around 2,000 people visit the riverbanks daily to enjoy a motorboat ride and this number remains higher during the Dashain and Tihar festivals.
The motorboat service on the river was initiated in 2076 BS (2019-20) with just one motorboat. Currently, there are 32 registered large and small motorboat companies, with 19 already serving visitors.
The service offers various packages and is available from the Narayani Bridge to Majuwa Tapu Pokhara Bus Park, Majuwa Tapu Pokhara Bus Park to Radha Krishna Temple in Gaidakot, Majuwa Tapu to Parijat Park, and from the Narayani Bridge to Devghat. Large motorboats can accommodate 18 to 25 passengers at once, while small motorboats can carry up to 12 passengers for short distances. The service charges are Rs 250 per person for the short route and Rs 1,500 for the long route.
The Bharatpur Metropolitan City imposes a 15% tax on the revenue generated from this service.