Deputy Commissioner Swat Junaid Khan on Thursday said that Rs 5 billion has been allocated for the construction of road linking scenic Kalam-Kumrat valleys to promote tourism in the area alongside giving access to people of both the districts
SWAT, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 21st Jan, 2021 ) ::Deputy Commissioner Swat Junaid Khan on Thursday said that Rs 5 billion has been allocated for the construction of road linking scenic Kalam-Kumrat valleys to promote tourism in the area alongside giving access to people of both the districts.
Talking to APP, Junaid Khan said that the Chief Minister has approved huge funds for the construction of a 113 km road linking the natural beauty of Kalam and Kumrat valleys that would attract more local and foreign tourists.
Recently appointed DC Swat Junaid Khan, who had dynamic contribution as far as sports, tourism and youth activities as Director General Sports, Additional Secretary Sports and Managing Director Tourism in the province.
“There are magnetic attractions in the beauty of Swat that is why 70 percent of tourists prefer to visit the northern part of Pakistan. He said soon after assuming the charge as DC Swat, they held a snow jeep rally in which two dozens of drivers, both male and female, eagerly participated.
Junaid Khan said that the present govt values the role of journalists and their positive journalism in highlighting the softer image of Pakistan. “I want all the media persons including print, electronic and social media persons, bloggers and Vloggers to play their key role in highlighting the softer image of Pakistan besides exploring tourism potential that has in Pakistan so that to attract foreign and local tourists to the scenic places.
He said that besides introducing more tourist areas in Swat, the government has also made Gabin Jabba, Mahudand a focal point. He appreciated the role of journalists in promoting tourism in Swat and hoped that they would continue their cooperation with the government and administration as in the past.
Junaid Khan, who has additional charge of MD Tourism, said: “We cannot only earn billions for KP but through this way such a sector has a major role in the country’s economy.” He said in the year 2020 the tourism sector has been badly affected due to COVID-19. He said the spread of Covid-19 hit hard the tourism industry in KP, as more than 70 percent tourism relates to KP.
Thousands of people have lost their jobs and are facing financial hardships due to the restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID19. “Hundreds of hotels, motels, restaurants, rest houses were closed since March 18, ” he said, adding, “It has affected the hotel industry, small businesses, daily wagers and transporters.
” He said, in year 2019 more than 2.5 million local and foreign tourists visited Galyat, Hazara and Malakand divisions including Naran, Khaghan, Dir Lower, Dir Upper, Kumrat valley, Chitral including Kalash valley, Bamburit, and Boni and if that tourists had spent a 1000 rupees, how much loss caused by COVID-19 to the revenue actually.
He said thousands of people purely relate to tourism and their basic earning and livelihood is from actually tourists’ visits. He said, there are thousands of waiters who were paid on daily basis in hotels, motels, restaurants, others including tourists guides, the ones providing horse-riding services, balloon shooting, coffee machines, running small shops in these areas like grocery shops, tent age, souvenir shops, tuck shops and small food huts, cabins and pushcarts were also bearing the brunt of COVID-19.
He said looking after such loss, the KP Govt has been treating the tourism sector as a high priority sector in the KP Budget 2020-21, and significant allocations have been made for various new and ongoing projects. Sharing details, he said that after successfully launching two umbrella projects for road development in Malakand and Hazara division of Rs. 4400 million.
He said KP govt now has included another project worth Rs. 2000 million for development of tourism spots in KP with particular focus on Buner, Swabi, Kohat, Dir, Dera Ismail Khan, the entire southern districts besides including Tirah Valley as major tourist destination from merged areas.
Junaid Khan disclosed that development of Chor valley in Battagram has been included in the budget under directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan with the objective to open new tourist destinations in Hazara Division.
Junaid Khan disclosed that under Accelerated Implementation Plan (AIP) for merged districts, Rs. 3000 million have been earmarked for tourism development in Tirah Valley Khyber District, Samana Orakzai, Parachinar Kurram District and various scenic spots in North and South Waziristan.
— to www.urdupoint.com