Phub Dem | Paro

Popular Dragay Pangtsho trail has been declared off-limits for hikers.

Tsento gewog issued a notification saying all visitors are prohibited from going to the lake and that the hiking trail was closed for public starting May.

According to a notification, the lake was crowded daily with large groups of hikers although the government advised people not to gather.

It states that those who do not comply with the directives will be returned from Drana Goenpa.

Tsento Gup Dolay Tshering said that those visiting the lake usually come in 30 or 40 people and such a gathering was against the government’s directive.

With many people crowding and contaminating the lake, he said that the gewog was experiencing heavy showers and hailstones which if continued would hamper crops.

He said that Dragay Pangtsho area was grappling with waste left behind by hikers. “We are planning to clean the area.”

Tsento Mangmi Chencho Gyeltshen said that the monks residing in Drana Goenpa also shared concerns because many hikers halt a night at the goenpa.

He said that no one visited the lake after the notification was issued. “Once the situation becomes normal, we will notify the public.”

Pem from Geptay planned a family gateway to the lake this weekend. She said that it was her dream to visit the lake with family. She was disappointed.

She said: “The place should at least remain open for small groups who do not wish to visit the goenpa.”