PESHAWAR: Swat Police have been deployed at popular tourist spots in the Malakand division while special tourism police have guided tourists in Malakand during all four days of Eid ul Fitr.
While talking to The Express Tribune Peshawar office regional police officer Muhmmad Saeed Wazir informed that over 145,000 vehicles and a million visitors arrived in Malakand in the span of three days.
“We have record entry of 8,000 vehicles in Buner district, 3,000 in Shangla, 24,000 in Lower Dir, 6,000 in Upper Dir and 11,000 in Chitral. For their guidance we have deployed 5,550 police personnel at various points,” RPO Wazir said.
Moreover, he also appreciated the locals’ cooperation with the visitors while announced that service to continued till Sunday.
Hotels penalised for over charging
Swat district administration penalised hotel owners who charged higher rates for food and rooms from tourists during the three days of Eid ul Fitr.
Officials made hotel owners return excess charges to tourists said a press release issued by the office of Swat District Deputy Commissioner Saqib Raza Aslam on Saturday.
AC Headquarters Syed Amir Shah along with his team carried out targeted operations in Bahrain, Mingora and Tourist's sports and inquired about their prices and slapped heavy penalties on hotel owners charging extra from visitors.
“The district administration officials asked the tourists in person, while also checking the room records of the hotels and placed heavy fines on those who exploited tourists, the admin made the hotels owners return money to the tourists on the spot.
People can also file complaints of overcharging against owners of hotels in Swat, it said.
Meanwhile on the fourth day of Eid-ul-Fitr, thousands poured in to the Malakand division from across the province.
Tourist police squad stated that the tourists were still arriving at holiday spots like Bahrain and Shamozai.
Tourist rush persists
On the directives of Deputy Commissioner Abbottabad Aamir Afaq, the Additional Assistant Commissioner, Tehsildar Abbottabad along with revenue staff has setup a picnicker's facilitation point on Silk road and welcome the foreign and local tourists.
They also discuss in detail various facilities ensured by the District Administration on the directives of Deputy Commissioner Abbottabad Aamir Afaq.
The staff of the revenue handed over blushers having information about various panic spots like galiyats, tandiyani and northern areas including Naran, Khaghan, lake Saif Ul Maluk etc.
The officials of the district administration have distributed soft drinks, plain drinking water and other gifts among the tourists.
The tourists have also be provided a guideline to the visitors so that to apprise them about all safety and security measures during the journeys to various scenic spots.
It is worth mention here that Tourism Corporation Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) has issued an alert to the administration of relevant districts to make all-out efforts for providing every possible facility to the visiting tourists in the province.
When contacted, Managing Director TCKP Junaid Khan, told APP on Saturday that they have issued directives to the deputy commissioners, local government bodies and stakeholders of the relevant districts to take prompt steps for the cleanliness, devising proper traffic management plan, security and placing of dustbins in the tourist resorts to facilitate the visitors.
He said that owing to the ensuing tourist season, this year a record number of foreign and local tourists were expected to come and enjoy the natural beauty the scenic sites has to offer in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The official said last year witnessed a large number of tourists in scenic valleys of the province owing to the facilitation of visitors by departments concerned. According to a report, a total of 4.5 million tourists had visited the scenic places in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa because of the stringent security arrangements, lodging and boarding facilities in every nook and corner of the province.
Junaid Khan said that instructions to all relevant departments had been issued to take initiatives aimed not only at maximizing the inflow of tourists but also to ensure that they were properly facilitated at every level. The official said the district administrations in collaboration with the local authorities and TMAs would ensure proper waste disposal and cleanliness in the touristic valleys of Galiyat, Naran, Kalam and Chitral so as to keep the local environment clean and green.
He said that Health Department was also asked to ensure availability of doctors and medicines in all BHUs and RHCs along with the provision of mobile health facilities in the touristic valleys of Abbottabad, Mansehra, Swat and Chitral in the forthcoming summer. The deployment of police, both for security and traffic guidance, he said, steps have been taken to ensure the safety of tourists and smooth flow of traffic in the scenic valleys of the province especially in Galiyat, Naran, Kalam and Chitral valleys.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2019.