Locals feel it will improve tourism

Tourism: With increasing inflow of tourists, business community of Panbang, Zhemgang feel the need of an entry point at border in Mathanguri, Assam to ease the travel for international guests frequenting the dungkhag.

Without an entry point, guests are not allowed to travel beyond Pangbang bridge if they are without entry permits. “For their convenience and the larger interest of the local economy, it is time the government arrange an immigration out-post,” river guides of Panbang (RGP) chief operator, Kinley Dorji said.

According to Kinley Dorji, the number of visitors in recent times has been rising steadily since it opened to tourism in September 2011.

During the peak season – from December-January, at least 30 vehicles with tourists are seen in Pangbang. “Many are interested to visit Panbang, particularly the regional tourists from southern India who come to visit Bansbar in Assam,” Kinley Dorji said.

The Indian Manas National Park, which is also a world heritage site, receives over 18,000 local tourists from across India. “So even if Panbang can attract 10 percent of the arrivals, it’s going to be huge for the dormant local economy, home stay and eco-tourism,” RGP member, Ugyen said.

Locals feel that the rich biodiversity of flora and fauna of Royal Manas Park would also give a vantage point for wildlife safari.

Although a site immigration inspector is deployed in Panbang currently, it has been ineffective. This is because no other services except verification and inspection are provided.

Kinley Dorji said sometimes the inspectors object the guests who come to visit Panbang despite traveling with valid permit. For instance, the officials often object the guests visiting RMP in Panbang saying RMP is in Sarpang but not in Panbang despite being a part of RMP.

Ugyen said that even a simple immigration out-post like the one in Nanglam would work.

By Tempa Wangdi