By Matthias Samuel
Recently, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has opened its owned-rest houses including Hamala House (Speaker House), Karnak House, Police Rest House, Chief Minister House Nathiagali, and Governor House Nathiagali to the general public for bookings and accommodation.
The decision to open Governor House Nathiagali – constructed in 1923 and spans an area of 76 kanals of land – was announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan in a Tweet on August 25, and also shared its video.
“These colonial symbols which cost crores annually to the taxpayer in maintenance, are now going to make money for the government,” Imran Khan wrote on Twitter.
نوآبادیات کی یہ نشانیاں جن کی دیکھ بھال کیلئے ٹیکس کے پیسوں سے سالانہ کروڑوں کے اخراجات اٹھتے، اب حکومت کیلئے آمدن کا ذریعہ بنیں گے۔ pic.twitter.com/BYR2DqJdVv
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) August 25, 2019
These rest houses can be booked through the Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) website.
As per the TCKP, Hamala House (Speaker House), Karnak House, Police Rest House, and Chief Minister House Nathiagali have four rooms each, whereas accommodation in each room of these four rest houses will charge Rs 24000, Rs 18000, Rs 12000 and Rs 24000 per day respectively.
The Governor House Nathiagali has a total of six rooms, and each of its room will cost Rs 40000 per day.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Senior Minister for Tourism and Sports Mohammad Atif Khan said that they are planning to gradually open 174 provincial government rest houses. He said that 47 rest houses would be opened in the next phase while 100 others would follow later.
Each year 1.5 million to 2 million tourists visit Nathiagali to enjoy the natural beauty; therefore, the people have expressed happiness over the government’s initiative to open its rest houses for general public.
However, they were also of the opinion that the prices of these rest houses are too high for a common man. They said that only the rich and VIPs would be able to stay there.
The people stressed upon the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to make the accommodation cost affordable for general public
Matthias Samuel is a student of history in Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Islamabad, and occasionally writes blogs and articles.