MANSEHRA: Boating on frozen Saiful Muluk Lake without safety gear is risking visitors’ lives.

“Boatmen are putting the lives of tourists in danger,” Zeeshan Adil, a visitor, told reporters on Tuesday, though he said it was a good sign that tourism activities had resumed in Kaghan Valley after remaining suspended for some seven months.

Last month, the district administration cleared the Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad Road to traffic till the tourist resort of Naran after removing snow and glaciers from it.

“Now, the artery connecting MNJ Road with Saiful Muluk Lake has also been cleared and visitors are thronging the frozen lake,” he said.

Mr Adil said the district administration had banned boating in Saiful Muluk Lake some three years ago due to rising pollution, but boatmen had again resumed the activity, putting visitors’ lives in danger.

Another visitor said the soothing environment attracted visitors to the lake, but snow boating was dangerous, which also caused pollution in and around the lake.

When contacted, sub-divisional wildlife officer Abdul Rasheed, who oversees the National Park Saiful Muluk, told Dawn that action would be taken against the boatmen not following the standard operating procedures.

He said his department would revive the licences of ferries after Eidul Azha, and those not following the SOPs would have their licenses cancelled.

SCHOOLS: People of Darband and its suburbs on Tuesday demanded of the government to take action against the management of the private schools still functioning despite summer vacation.

Led by a local elder, Javed Tanoli, a group of residents said Darband town fell in the summer zone, but children were still going to private schools amid scorching heat.

“The locals have taken this issue with management of private schools, urging them to close the institutions as students have been fainting in scorching heat, but to no avail,” Mr Tanoli said.

He said all public and private schools in the summer zone were closed for summer vacation on June 1, and educational institutions in Darband tehsil should follow suit.

Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2024

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