RAWALPINDI: Kotli Sattian will be developed as an alternative to Murree and the provincial government is chalking out a plan to improve the area and identify tourism sites.

In this regard, Chief Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar along with Commissioner Saqib Zafar and PTI MPA Latasab Satti visited the area on Tuesday to explore the tourism potential at the sites identified by the divisional administration.

They visited the site where the administration plans to install a chairlift for the tourists. The highest point in the subdivision is on Phofandi Peak which is over 7,035 feet above sea level. East of Patriata is the Phofandi spur. It separates from Patriata at the peak and runs down towards Khad Biaga on the south. Phofandi is the last village in Kotli Sattian subdivision while its neighbouring village Khalabut Sattian falls in Murree Subdivision.

Chief secretary briefed on potential sites, plan to provide facilities

The chief secretary was given briefing about the plan so people would be provided an alternative hill station which would lessen the tourist load in Murree.

The officials briefed him about other potential tourist sites and the need to improve the condition of roads and greenbelts, install benches and take measures to protect forest area. The secretary was told that the area had sufficient water sources that could meet the requirement of the visitors.

“We visited the forest rest house constructed in 1926 during the British Raj which is 4,000 feet above sea level and decided to renovate it. The rest house is located on an ideal location in the green hills of the area and also has a visitor book which has comments of prominent personalities,” said Commissioner Saqib Zafar while talking to Dawn after the visit.

He said the chief secretary was informed about the plan to attract visitors and ensure facilities, adding that the area had an exotic view of Jhelum river and the rest of Azad Kashmir from the hills in the area.

Mr Zafar said Kotli Sattian was 65km from Islamabad and Rawalpindi and was easily approachable, adding that visitors could reach the point within an hour.

He said the government had selected Kahuta and Kotli Sattian as an alternative to Murree would develop both hill stations.

Chief Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar asked the divisional administration to make videos of the area so the people would see the beauty. He also asked the administration to improve the civic facilities in the area.

Meanwhile, Mr Khokhar found the Tehsil Headquarters Hospital, Kotli Sattian, facing shortage of nurses.

During his visit to the hospital, he directed the health department to take stock of the situation and make necessary appointments to end the shortage.

He also asked the department to upgrade the hospital and increase the number of beds to 100.

The chief secretary also visited the Government Boys School, sports ground and stadium and directed the authorities concerned to improve their condition.

It is the only ground in the area which is being used for public meetings by political parties; the administration has been asked to improve its condition so that the youth could benefit from the sports facilities, he added.

Published in Dawn, August 21st, 2019

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