LAHORE: To provide world-class tourism and recreational facilities, authorities have started the process of installing chairlifts and cable cars at the only hill station in the southern part of the province; Fort Munro in Dera Ghazi Khan.
Fort Munro Development Authority (FMDA) Deputy Director Anam Hafeez tells The Express Tribune the proposed cable car line will be around five-kilometres in the tribal region of Dera Ghazi Khan district. He continues that it will start from Kalma Chowk (Fort Munro) to the Anari Hill Station.
She highlights that Fort Munro has a current monthly footfall of 15,000 to 20,000 tourists, while on occasions like Eid, Independence Day and long weekends, it touches 200,000 to 250,000. Tourists from all parts of the country visit Fort Munro to get the best scenic views and experience the tribal culture of Punjab. The installation of chairlifts or cable cars will not only increase the tourist footfall at Fort Munro, but will also multiply economic growth of the area, she maintains.
Hafeez says the authority is working on all aspects to develop Fort Munro as a sustainable eco-tourist destination. “The FMDA is trying to develop all tourism and entertainment facilities which attract tourists. She says this includes better accommodation, dining and health facilities. “Once the Fort Munro is developed as a world class tourism site, it will share the burden of Murree and other destinations of Punjab.”
In the first phase, the authority has initiated the process of conducting a feasibility study of the cable car project at an estimated cost of Rs100 million. International consultants are being hired to evaluate various aspects of the proposed project, aimed at providing cost effective, efficient and safe recreation facilities for tourists, she said. Anum Hafeez hopes to complete the feasibility study during the current fiscal year, while installation of chairlifts/cable cars will be completed next year.
After Murree, Fort Munro is the only hill station in Punjab and the only one in South Punjab. It is at a height of approximately 6,452 feet on the Suleiman Mountain range. The provincial government recently instructed the FMDA to promote the only hill station in Southern Punjab. The vision is to not develop it as an isolated tourism destination, but to ensure it becomes a sustainable eco-tourism town through a strategic master plan and comprehensive design.
Fort Munro is a hill station that is only accessible by road. The fort is situated around 85 kilometres from Dera Ghazi Khan City and about 185 kilometres from Multan. The places that interest tourists include Dames Lake, Piala, Anari Hill, the mountain Ganji Pahari, the British Graveyard, the military fort and shrines of famous saints.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2017.
Source: Tribune News | Govt focuses on adding to Fort Munro’s allure