Proposals to boost tourism in Northern Areas
27 July 2005
Gilgit: A number of proposals and suggestion were presented on Wednesday for developing tourism in the six districts of Northern Areas at end of a four-day high level meeting in Gilgit chaired by the federal secretary for Kashmir Affair and Northern Areas Rasul Bux Baloch. The meting held with the members of the Northern Areas Legislative Council and heads of department floated the proposals including security on the Karakoram Highway (KKH) and other sensitive areas. The secretary tourism and commerce suggested extension of Gilgit airport, replacement of Fokker planes with new one, development of cultural tourism, building of Chilas airport, building museums, linkage between different valleys, exploration of new tourist spots, ensuring of tourist friendly environment, interest free loans for hoteliers. Apart from this it was proposed to hold cultural shows, regular festivals, renovation of historical buildings, installation of a tourism based web portal and exploring and developing new ski resorts in the Northern Areas to attract more tourists to the region. POWER PROJECTS Briefing the meeting, the Northern Areas secretary works Nasir Ali Shigri focused on the plight of power sector in the region. He noted that the region needed 100MW of power while recently the available power generation is 48MW in summer while this shrinks to 25MW in winter. Mr Shigri informed the meeting that to mitigate the growing power demand in the region, the Northern Areas Power development Sector was working on a number of future projects including a 32MW power project apart from the under construction 18MW in hilly Naltar. He said other projects in the womb are 20MW Hanzal, 13MW Satpara Skardu, 28MW Bashu (Baltistan), 6MW Thuck Chilas and 4 MW in Phakora Ghizer. The federal secretary directed all the departmental head to complete work on time while the NALC members gave recommendations and asked queries from the secretaries in the meeting.