CHITRAL: The communication and works department has proposed construction of roads to five new tourist destinations in Chitral district at a cost of Rs9.2 billion.
The proposed roads to the tourist resorts include Karimabad valley (35km), Garam Chashma-Gobor valley (18km), Madak Lasht (45km), Mastuj-Broghil (148km) and Golen valley (26km).
The roads’ construction would not only attract tourists to the valleys in numbers bout would also benefit over 30,000 local people.
Of the project, Mastuj-Broghil is the longest costing Rs4.4 billion which connects the district with Wakhan corridor of Afghanistan in the north, according to the C&W proposal sent to its project management unit.
The roads will also connect the remote valleys with rest of the district throughout the year which remained cut off in winter.
A local tour operator, Sahib Alam, said the roads to the five major valleys would prove a game changer for the tourism industry as new venues would be explored to the outer world.
He said at present a tourist in Chitral could only go to Kalash valleys while an eco-tourist yearned to see maximum number of places. He said all the five proposed destinations had fabulous attraction for the tourists which included the Wakhi culture of Broghil, its unique landscape and the legendary Qarambara Lake and the Chiantar glacier.
“The Yarkhun-Broghil valley has the capacity to keep the tourists engaged for well over a week while Broghil festival will be the chief extravaganza, leaving behind the Shandur festival. The road will also help the locals to sell their yaks in the major market of Chitral,” he explained.
The tour operator said the Sheshi Koh-Madak Lasht valley was yet another paradise for tourists which borders Swat valley in the east and is known for its picturesque landscape.
Karimabad-Susoom valley is another source of attraction for the tourists which is known for its lush green meadows and pastures with a population of 45,000 souls, but presently accessibility to it is the main obstacle for promotion of tourism and its development, he explained.
The 35km road originating from Garam Chashma Road in Shoghore village will change the socioeconomic condition of the area as the valley is also known for production of potato and beans, explained Mr Alam.
He said a proper road to the Golen valley would make it an ideal tourist resort.
Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2019