By Taj Nabi Khan
KUMRAT VALLEY, (APP)-:An APP Feature The scenic beauty of lush green mountains of paradise-like Kumrat valley mostly covered with white carpet of snow melting into gushing water of falling streams bringing down the temperature into cold weather (10-15°C) even in hot summer in other parts of the country. The rich green environment of the Valley is a treat to watch and behold.
The hovering clouds touching the snow on high-peak mountains while the reflection of mild sunlight from the snow increases visual range which makes it easy for the tourists to see the movements of small objects in far off areas even without a telescope. The forming of clouds and light shower of rainfall almost every evening in the valley brings the temperature even further down.
The newly launched Swat Expressway from M1 Colonel Sher Khan Interchange to Chakdara Tunnel, followed by Temergerah, Dir Lower and Upper, Akhagram, Wari, Darora, Bibyawar, Chukiatan, Sharingal, Kalkot, Thall leads to Kumrat.
The zigzag road having mountains on one side and pouring of streams resulting in formation of a criss-cross river on the other side coming down from snow-covered-mountains make it an amazing and nerve-soothing journey for the tourists who come across valleys after valleys leading to Kumrat. The valley is located 8100 kilometer above the sea level which has also played a key role in Billion Trees Tsunami project of the government.
Talking to APP, the jeeb driver, Zafar Khan said, “After the visit of Imran Khan to Kumrat in 2016, the valley has got national and international level projection; as a result, thousands of tourists from across the country and abroad thronged the picturesque valley, especially during summer vocations and Eid holidays”.
Talking to this scribe, a local police man on the Kumrat checkpoint said that around 2000 vehicles entered Kumrat valley on daily basis during Eid holidays. He said that more than one million people have visited the valley during the summer vocations last year. “Dir Kumrat is one of the most beautiful and peaceful tourist sites in the country”, he added.
A resident of Dir Upper, Rais Khan said the government was determined to give the status of ‘National Park’ to the valley for preserving the natural beauty of the area. He, however said, in this regard, the local populace of the area should be taken into confidence.
A hotel owner, Hamdullah, in Thall, an area of 30 kilometer distance from Kumrat said that the lack of road infrastructure was the main hurdle in getting into the valley. He said that sign boards were also needed to be installed on almost every kilometer for making it easy for the tourists to reach the destinations.
Many tourists have complained about the non-availability of mobile phone networks in Kumrat. They said that mobile companies had not installed their towers in the area. They said that tourism department could provide a temporary mobile phone network to tourists like it had provided in others tourist resorts.
A tourist from Mardan, Sajjad Ali said that the scenic valleys, mountainous beauty and waterfalls in upper KP had attracted a large number of tourists due to the tourism policy of the PTI-led government. He said the government wanted to project tourist spots in the country not only for the domestic tourists but also for the foreign ones.
Sajjad said, “Pakistan is rich in terms of natural beauty, historical and religious sites, cultural tourism and investment opportunities, therefore, with the right policy of the government, it could become a leading tourist destination in the region.”
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s official Twitter account has also said that the new e-visa scheme is primarily launched to facilitate visitors from 175 countries. The scheme means to open Pakistan’s doors to the world for making it more accessible to tourists and investors from across the globe.
Senior Minister for Tourism, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Atif Khan has said that more than two million tourists had visited the province only during Eid-ul-Fitr vacations. He said the arrival of record number of tourists in the province had reflected good strategy of the government to promote tourism in the province.
The senior minister said that in the first phase, 690 tourism police force was raised with an objective to help facilitate tourists, saying that the number would be increased with the passage of time. The tourism police would be trained on the pattern of Thailand police who would be converted into a full-fledged organized force, he added.
According to Malakand Administration, around one million tourists entered Swat district through 147,000 vehicles and motorcycles in Malam Jabba. Over 0.4 million tourists entered the Galayat in Abbottabad through 63,000 vehicles and motorcycles, said the Galayat Tourists Facilitation Centre. Likewise, over 0.2 million tourists moved to Kaghan and Naran in Manshera district through 23,859 vehicles and 2,50,000 tourists entered through 41,000 vehicles and motorcycle in Dir, Chitral, Kumrat, and Buner districts during Eid holidays.