Roads clogged as hill stations attract crowds on Eid

Published July 21, 2015
Hundreds of vehicles stuck in a traffic jam on Karakorum Highway in Abbottabad. — Online
Hundreds of vehicles stuck in a traffic jam on Karakorum Highway in Abbottabad. — Online

MINGORA/MANSEHRA: Tourists flocked to hill stations of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including Swat and Mansehra, during Eid days from across the country to enjoy cool weather and see scenic beauty.

However, traffic jams were reported at many places.

In Swat, most tourists went to Fizagat Park and Bypass Road area near Mingora city.

“We never miss to visit Swat valley during the holidays of Eidul Fitr. Coming here refreshes us especially after spending the tiresome fasting month of Ramazan in the scorching heat,” said Arshad Iqbal of Kohat while enjoying lunch under the cool shade of trees along the Swat River.

Tourists also said Swat’s weather turned quite pleasant in July.

“This is amazing here. We first enjoyed rain in the morning and are now enjoying pleasant weather along the Swat River. More tourists from Sindh and Punjab must come here to enjoy peace and tranquility amid greenery and cool breeze,” said Mohammad Ihsan, a tourist from Lahore.

Tourists took keen interest in the cable car to cross the Swat River.

Though children were afraid of using the cable car, men and women rode it cheerfully.

“It was a bit scary to cross the river in cable car but it was challenging and thrilling, which we enjoyed a lot,” Amna Ihsan, a tourist from Lahore said, adding that she was enjoying stay on the bank of the river.

Group of friends were enjoying cooking meal along the river while some enthusiast youngsters were dancing to the beats of music attracting large number of others, clapping and yelling.

The Fizagat Park, which is the only recreation place for local residents in Mingora, was also packed with tourists.

Many vendors had shown up from other districts to sell traditional food items.

“Swat is the best place both for tourists and for food sellers. We have double fun as we earn money by selling rice besides enjoying the pleasant weather,” said Sarzamin, a vendor in Fizagat Park, who had come to Mingora from Swabi district.

Organisers charged Rs10 instead of Rs5 as the fee to enter Fizagat Park but the facility was poorly maintained.

“There is trash and litter everywhere. Organisers do not ensure the park’s cleanliness,” he said.

Haji Nawab, a tourist from Peshawar, regretted Fizagat Park was the only park in the area but that too was not properly maintained.

“The district administration must ensure cleanliness in the park,” he said.

Mansehra, too, attracted crowds of people during Eid days.

Traffic congestion was reported on all the roads leading to Kaghan valley in the district.

The Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad Road in Mansehra as well as major roads in Qalandarabad area of Abbottabad district remained blocked for long hours to the misery of motorists.

Most hotels in the region were booked for Eid days.

And those, which had empty rooms, overcharged tourists.

The owners of tent villages, who usually charge from Rs1000 to Rs1500 for a tent, increased the rent to Rs4000-Rs5000.

“The valley has seen a record number of visitors during Eid days but unfortunately, hoteliers and tent owners looted them at will,” said Mohammad Ajmal, a tourist.

He said jeep drivers also charged visitors to Saiful Muluk Lake, Sirri Payye, Babusar Top and Shogran much higher than normal fare.

A large number of tourists gathered along the Kunhar River to enjoy cold water and scenic beauty of the valley and Balakot.

The Saiful Muluk Lake also attracted large crowds.

The district administration had banned boating in the lake.

Few local residents tried to violate the ban but were stopped by the wildlife department officials.

Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2015

On a mobile phone? Get the Dawn Mobile App: Apple Store | Google Play

Opinion

Let women be, control the man
Updated 11 Apr 2021

Let women be, control the man

Men need to be educated and then read the riot act. The enforcement of the law must be merciless in such cases.
Twixt torch & tray
11 Apr 2021

Twixt torch & tray

Some may say that the lawyers’ indignation is not without merit.
Behaviour bond
10 Apr 2021

Behaviour bond

States have turned the imitation of repressive laws into an art form...

Editorial

11 Apr 2021

Dissension within PTI

WITH the dust from the PDM’s implosion still not fully settled, the PTI is now faced with growing dissension from...
11 Apr 2021

Power to arrest

A SUPREME Court verdict announced on Thursday spelled out what might be considered a self-evident truth in any...
11 Apr 2021

Unequal vaccine distribution

IT is in times of crisis that we often see the best — or worst — of humanity. In this regard, the pandemic has...
10 Apr 2021

Greater tax burden

THE FBR’s tax target of Rs6tr for the next year under the IMF-mandated fiscal adjustment policies will increase ...
UK travel ban
Updated 10 Apr 2021

UK travel ban

Pakistan continued to allow passengers to arrive without quarantine requirements.
10 Apr 2021

IS in Mozambique

IT was not too long ago when the dreaded shock troops of the self-declared Islamic State group were rampaging ...