MULTAN, Aug 11: The government of Punjab has decided to go ahead with two tourism promotion projects, including installation of a chairlift and a cable car at Fort Munro and rehabilitation of Indus Queen, a 145-year-old ship that used to float on the River Indus but now is in a decayed condition.
According to Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP) acting regional manager Sheikh Ijaz, he had been told by his superiors that the projects would be executed and TDCP officials were planning to visit the two sites after Eidul Fitr.
?We will peruse the reports prepared earlier in connection with the two projects and will witness the situation on the ground there,? Ijaz said.
Sources said installation of a chairlift and a cable car at Fort Munro, the only hill station accessible by road in south Punjab, some 86 kilometres away from Dera Ghazi Khan city, was an old initiative that could only pass through the processes of feasibility studies and PC-I but failed to attract funding.
Ijaz said according to the plan prepared earlier, the chairlift would begin from Khar, a valley located at the foot of the Fort Munro, and would take the people to Jirga House and then to the beautiful Dames lake. Cable car would be installed in the second phase of the project from Dames lake to scenic Anari hills of Fort Munro. He, however, did not rule out possibility of a change in the plan.
TDCP officials said they would also visit Indus Queen, an old ship that was built in 1867 for the then Nawab of Bahawalpur Nawab Subh-i-Sadiq.
The Nawab had gifted it to great Sufi saint and poet Hazrat Khwaja Ghulam Farid in 1917 for transportation of Zaireen from Chachraan Sharif to Kot Mithan (Rajanpur district). It used to float over 22-kilometre water area of the Indus between Chachraan Sharif and Kot Mithan and had a capacity to provide food to 400 passengers at a time.
A plan was prepared earlier wherein a Karachi-based company had suggested a high cost for rehabilitation of the ship which was turned down by the district administration of Rajanpur.
The TDCP official said some local firms would be engaged to complete the project of Indus Queen?s rehabilitation at lower cost.