In an attempt to boost the tourism industry, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has announced that it is starting a helicopter service to make it easier for tourists to reach popular tourist spots.
This was revealed by KP Tourism Minister Atif Khan in Peshawar on Tuesday. He was talking to media after the KP government presented the provincial budget in the assembly. The provincial government has proposed to set aside Rs17 billion for development of the tourism industry.
Many of KP’s tourist destinations are difficult to reach due to lack of infrastructure and difficult terrain. Keeping this in mind, the provincial government has decided to start a helicopter service to Swat’s Kalam Valley, Chitral District and Upper Dir’s Kumrat area.
Kalam Valley is situated 90kms from Swat’s main city Mingorah, but it takes almost five hours to reach the valley because the roads are not carpeted. This gets even worse in the summers during peak season because the roads are also narrow.
To reach Chitral, you need to go to Upper Dir via Lower Dir. The condition of the road makes the travel tiresome. In winters, it gets impossible to travel as the Lowari Tunnel closes due to snowfall.
The travel to Kumrat Valley is almost the same. To reach the valley, you need to take a 4×4 vehicle from Upper Dir’s Thal Bazaar. The 20km-long track is difficult to travel on because of the absence of a proper road.