PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has opened four of its Nathiagali-located rest houses, including the Governor House and Chief Minister House, to the general public for bookings and accommodation.
“These colonial symbols which cost crores annually to the taxpayer in maintenance, are now going to make money for the government,” Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted on Sunday along with a drone-cam video of the palatial Governor House at Nathiagali.
KP Senior Minister for Tourism and Sports Mohammad Atif Khan told Dawn that his department had completed the process and now people could register their bookings at these rest houses. Other rest houses that have been opened to the public include Police House and Karnak House. Bookings to these rest houses can be made on the Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa website.
Details provided at the website show that accommodation at Governor House starts at Rs40,000, Chief Minister House at Rs24,000, Karnak House at Rs18,000 and Police House at Rs12,000. However, Speaker House, which the government had earlier announced that it would also be open to the public, is missing from the list.
Accommodation to cost Rs40,000 at Governor House & Rs24,000 at CM House
The minister said they were planning to gradually open 174 government rest houses located all over the province. He said that 47 rest houses would be opened in the next phase, 100 others would follow later.
He said it would take some time to open all the government rest houses for the public because his department would have to first make these buildings habitable. But his department was facing staff shortages and to carry out renovations to all the rest houses was hence a challenge, he added.
Regarding the high accommodation rates, he said the government wanted to earn revenue and these places could not be offered for free to the public. “Seeing from government’s point of view, high stay rates are not bad, rather, they are good, as they will attract rich consumers generating steady revenue stream.”
On Aug 9, the provincial cabinet had decided to open all government rest houses in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for general public.
Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2019