South Punjab Witnesses Novel Initiatives Worth Millions to Promote Tourism

MULTAN, Nov 20 (APP): Several novel and traditional development initiatives involving huge funding have been set into motion in south Punjab to promote tourism with seven new tourist sites on the grand Suleman Mountain Ranges in Dera Ghazi Khan expected to open in June 2021.

Tourism Development Corporation Punjab (TDCP) DG Khan Incharge Sheikh Ijaz told APP that the ‘Park Ways’ project is being completed speedily, adding that three tourist sites have already been opened for the general public while rest of the four would be completed in June next. These sites including Mubarki Top, Gulkai, Baarthi, Mat Chandia, Hik Bai, Anari Top and Sanghar boast a lush green mountainous topography and some of them witness snowfall in winter.

Another mega initiative is in progress at Taunsa Barrage, river Indus, where 120-160 kanal area was being developed into a picnic point with facility of a jetty where boats can dock to support rowing joy. The site will also have a top quality restaurant, concrete tile pavement along river bank to enable tourists enjoy the scenic beauty, colorful lights hitting water surface to generate enchanting view, a play land for children, camping site, commercial zone and a lot more.

The project had been designed and handed over to buildings department for further execution, Ijaz said. He said that TDCP had recently received 40 tents for adventure hungry souls to enjoy night and group Safari at Taunsa Barrage, adding that TDCP would provide tour guide, residential accommodation, food and security for a group of six or more individuals. He said that a proposal to renovate over a century old ship famously known as Indus Queen at Kot Mithan and bring it to Taunsa Barrage was under discussion.

He said that TDCP chairman Dr. Suhail Zafar visited Taunsa Barrage site to review the pace of progress on Friday. Up-gradation of TDCP’s Fort Monroe resort, spread over 16 Kanal area, was also in progress while a Rs 10 million tender had been issued to add modern facilities to TDCP’s resort at Sakhi Sarwar that was spread over 52 Kanal area, he added. TDCP Bahawalpur tourist promotion officer Misbah Ishaq told APP that work was in progress on TDCP’s resort at Lal Sohanra National Park for introduction of modern facilities and it would be completed soon to accommodate more people than it could previously.

He said that the coronavirus epidemic has damaged the tourism sector to a great extent adding that TDCP had designed a floating play-land-cum-restaurant on a boat but it was no more under consideration. The officials said that chairlift and cable car project remained a part of TDCP’s plan but no practical work could be carried out so far despite passage of several years and now it had been handed over to Koh-e-Suleman Development Authority (KSDA).

A tourist village plan was also to be developed at Derawar fort to facilitate tourists who visit the site to witness the heritage and enjoy the Cholistan Jeep Rally but it is no more under consideration for now. However, now a TDCP resort is being developed near centuries old Derawar fort. A double decker bus project that was designed for Multan can not proceed further due to absence of road clearance, however, this initiative was introduced in Bahawalpur and two of the five double decker buses have reached there.

The museum project for Multan was completed but its fate still hangs in balance due to improper site selection and archaeology department has now selected a new site awaiting allotment of land in the city of saints.

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