MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas has invited people from across the country to visit Kutla valley towards northwest of Muzaffarabad to explore its hitherto hidden natural beauty.
He was speaking at the concluding ceremony of a four-day event to introduce tourism potential of Kutla, home to many breathtakingly beautiful meadows, snow-capped mountains, waterfalls and streams, in the town of Patikka, some 18 kilometres from here en route Neelum valley.
Kutla lies along the right bank of Neelum River in Muzaffarabad district, beginning right from Kamsar camp on the outskirts of Muzaffarabad up to Nauseri village, the gateway of Neelum valley.
The prime minister announced that a “state of the art one kilometre long tourist strip” would be constructed on both sides of the icy Neelum River in Patikka and road infrastructure in Kutla area would also be improvedto eventually provide easy access to the tourists to its scenic locations.
The prime minister said the proposed strip along the riverbanks would also serve as a launchpad for water sports-related activities as well as a point for serving traditional food.
“I am fully cognizant of the tourism potential of this area and its exploitation on the modern scientific lines would help createmassiveemployment opportunities and subsequently increase the revenue receipts of the state,” he said.
PM Ilyas announced that the government would spare Rs60 million for promotion of tourism and creation of employment opportunities in the little explored Kutla area to be spent through a committee headed by PTI’s regional senior vice president Chaudhry Zafar Anwar.
Along this strip, residential huts for professionals would also be built, he added.
The prime minister was of the view that this would create employment opportunities for no less than 600 people at the very beginning.
Hedirected theconcerneddepartments to construct restrooms at all tourist spotsalong the Neelum valley road and Kutla.
Mr Ilyas maintained that while promoting tourism people must also pay full attention to saving their environment. In this context, he warned against releasing untreated sewage or dumping garbage in the river whose cleanliness was an attraction in itself.f.
Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2022