New biking trail for urban dwellers

More such trails are in the pipe line

Recreation: Considering limited recreational facilities and the growing cycling trend in the capital, the first biking trail in Thimphu was inaugurated at Kuenselphodrang by the agriculture minister, Yeshey Dorji and the Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to India and Bhutan, Joao Cravinho, yesterday.

The 3.5km biking trail connects Kuenselphodrang to Depsi (South Thimphu). The 1.5 metre wide biking trail was constructed by the Nature Recreation and Ecotourism Division (NRED) of the agriculture ministry.

NRED chief forestry officer, DS Rai, said the need for such outdoor facilities was essential for city dwellers to keep themselves fit and healthy. “It’s a simple, cost effective and environmentally friendly way to keep oneself healthy,” he said.

DS Rai said the biking trail will not only have a recreational benefit but also help demarcate city and forest boundaries to help illegal encroachment into the forests. He said it will also provide access in times of accidents like forest fires which is very prone in the country.

DS Rai said the division is also planning on constructing similar biking trails circling Thimphu valley. “We are planning on constructing approximately 60 kilometers of similar biking trails in Thimphu,” he said.

The biking trail was constructed at a cost of Nu 1.8 million and within a month.

The agriculture minister and ambassador also inaugurated the Green Bhutan Project, an agriculture ventures that the agriculture ministry is opting to corporatise to encourage effective and market driven plantations, landscaping and other diversified products, at Serbithang.

The 3.5Km bike trail

The 3.5Km bike trail

The venture will foster community vitality and encourage the growth of vibrant entrepreneurship in floriculture and landscaping across the nation. It also intends to centralise plantations and nursery development to provide products and services including quality seeds and seedlings.

Minister Yeshey Dorji said that the Green Bhutan Project is an initiative that will not only provide economic and employment opportunities to the people but also help ensure the constitutional requirement of the need to maintain at least 60 percent forest cover for all times to come.

“I’m personally excited about this initiative that will inspire individuals to appreciate the nature and promote agricultural growth in the country,” he said.

Ambassador Joao Cravinho said that EU has a very good developmental relationship with Bhutan. He said when other countries around the world are struggling with environmental conservation, the fact that Bhutanese embed environment in the centre of all the developmental policies fascinates him the most.

The inagurations were a  part of the 60th birth anniversary celebration of His Majesty The Fourth King.

By Younten Tshedup

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