TRAVEL ADVICE: Avoid big hotels in the mountains. They do not contribute to the local economy, the locals hate them, as they compete with their small lodges for the same tourists, they use up vast amounts of energy, and the money does not stay in the area.
Just read an article on the Himalayan Times about encroachment in the Sagarmatha National Park by commercial big wigs in the hotel industry. This really bothers me.
The Sagarmatha National Park, a UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) world heritage site, which also houses the Mt Everest, is now ruined by encroachment for haphazard commercialisation.
Two resorts - Kong Dey View Resort and Farak-pa Village Resort that are being constructed in the national park area - were constructed in controversial circumstances.
The locals claim that the hotels are built on encroahed public land and are damaging the cultural and national landscape of the world heritage site.
"We are more than shocked to know that two grand hotels are being constructed in core area of Sagarmatha National Park. This is going to damage the nature and value of the national park," said Sonam Gyalzen Sherpa, chairman of the Buffer Zone Management Committee of the park.
He said the locals had been very conscious about the conservation issues for thousands of years but since the people from other areas have migrated to the sacred village for commercial purposes, the tradition to conserve nature has been destroyed.
According to the officials at Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, the Environment Impact Assessment for both the projects were passed in November and December, 2004, when Bachaspati Devkota was the environment minister.
On the other hand, assistant management officer at Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation, Surya Bahadur Pandey admitted that it was the result of the government's mismanagement.
He said the two resorts came up at Sagarmatha as a result of government's mismanagement and the local people's tendency to encroach upon public land.
"It would not have been like that had the local people been aware of the public land and its significance," he said.
He added that many other big hotels there have violated the norms.
A UNESCO official said the UNESCO had also tried to raise the issue and had asked the DNPWC several times about the authenticity of the hotel but the government officials were found skeptical on this issue.