MANSEHRA: The district administration here on Saturday reopened the Kaghan valley and Shogran for tourism activities. These tourist destinations had been closed for the visitors following the Murree tragedy last week.

“We have resumed tourism activities in Shogran and Kaghan valley as the district administration asked the tehsil administration to lift the ban and allow tourists to visit these areas,” assistant commissioner, Balakot, Saddam Hussain Memon told mediapersons.

He said the Balakot teshil administration had also issued a notification in this regard as the road linking Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad road with Shogran had also been cleared of snow.

“The tourists following the Covid-related standard operation procedures (SOPs) will be allowed to go to Shogran from Balakot,” Mr Memon said.

Hoteliers, tourists advised to follow Covid SOPs

The AC said the administration would ensure that hoteliers provided rooms, food and other facilities to the tourists at reasonable rates.

Meanwhile, a bakery was gutted when fire erupted because of electric short-circuit here at Zafar Road. Rescue 1122 teams along with fire tenders put out the fire after efforts of an hour.

BALAKOT RED ZONE: The people of Balakot have threatened to put up resistance if the government tried to relocate its offices from the red zone to any other place.

“The government has been acquiring land to relocate its offices from the red zone areas, which is unacceptable to us,” Qazi Khalilur Rehman, a local cleric, told mediapersons in Balakot on Saturday.

A group of locals led by Mr Rehman said the government had declared Balakot and Garlat areas as the red zone following 2005 earthquake.

“The reconstruction of offices, houses and other buildings is in progress in the so-called red zone, but the government wants to relocate police, judiciary and TMA offices away from Balakot town,” Mr Rehman said.

Speaking on the occasion, former president of local traders’ body, Tahir Raja, said the government couldn’t complete the New Balakot city housing project even in past 14 years, but it was in a hurry to shift its offices.

“We will not allow the government to relocate its offices from here,” Mr Raja said.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2022

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