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October 17, 2015

KP govt rest houses formally opened for general public


October 17, 2015

ABBOTTABAD: Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on Friday formally opened the government resthouses for general public by launching their paid reservation web portal.
A formal ceremony was held at the famous “Retreat House” at Nathiagali in the Abbottabad district. It is one of the 15 resthouses handed over by different departments to the Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP). The resthouse was reserved for the use of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary since long. Chief Secretary Amjad Ali Khan is the first, who offered his resthouse to the TCKP for commercial use by common people and tourists under commercialisation policy of the KP government.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan was the chief guest on the occasion. PTI Secretary General Jahangir Tareen, provincial Minister for Information Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani, Advisor
to the Chief Minister on Tourism Amjad Afridi, Senator Mohsin Aziz, Members National Assembly Sajida Zulfiqar and Dr Azhar Jadoon, PTI Secretary Information Naeemul Haq, Chairman District Development Advisory Committee Abbottabad Sardar Muhammad Idrees, Chief Secretary Amjad Ali Khan, Secretary Tourism Muhammad Azam Khan, Managing Director Tourism Mushtaq Ahmad, Hazara Commissioner Akbar Khan were also in attendance.
In the first phase, on June 25th last, a total of 15 resthouses were notified to be transferred to the TCKP that included Retreat House Nathiagali, Karnak House, Police Resthouse Nathiagali, Inspection Bungalow Murree, Forest Resthouse Thandiani, Additional Cottage Nathiagali, Vendia Cottage Nathiagali, Pine Resthouse Nathiagali, Forest Cottage Nathiagalai, Forest Resthouse Dungagali, Forest Resthouse Barian, TCKP Resthouse Thandiani, European Cottage 29, 30 & 1.
TCKP had commercially operationalised them from the 3rd week of July and has generated from them an amount of Rs4 million.
The second phase of this includes transfer of another lot of 13 resthouses to the TCKP which includes, Fan

House Nathiagali, Speaker House Nathiagali, Communication & Work House Nathiagali, Inspection Bungalow Nathiagali, Blue Pine Cottage Nathiagali, Shimla House Nathiagali, C&W House Nathiagali, C&W Resthouse Changlagali, C&W Resthouse Thandiani, Dugree Inspection Hut, Birangali Forest Rest House, Dak Bungalow Nathiagali, Changla Gali Rest house and GDA Rest House Khanaspur.
Speaking at the ceremony, PTI Chairman Imran Khan said, “We have gathered at Retreat House, which was previously used by the chief secretary, but he brought a unique change by being the first one to hand it over to Tourism Department. Similarly secretary C&W voluntarily offered transfer of Raees Khana Nathiagali to TCKP.”
Imran Khan said “It seems that it’s a small thing but in reality this is the philosophy that will pave the way for making new Pakistan through generating taxes. Rs20 million was spent on these resthouses from the provincial exchequer and now they will generate money”.
He said an independent authority would be set up, which would manage these resthouses and it would not be through private leasing. The revenue to be generated from these resthouses will be spent on local development of Galiyat region.
Imran Khan said the Governor’s House is another example, which is a burden on tax payer. “It is always empty and the governor barely visits it. We need to stop such practices, which will lead to a new tax culture,” he added.
He congratulated the chief minister and his team for materialising the idea of commercialisation of the resthouses and implementing other reforms. On the occasion the chief minister launched a website of TCKP Resthouse. The web portal is now open to public.
This site includes not only booking of resthouses but also tour guides options. The website also includes information on different rest houses, statistics, pictures and attractions like nearby scenic opportunities for tourists.

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