Various parties show interest in the 15 refurbished rest houses in Galiyat


Peshawar: The stakeholders and public have evinced keen interest in the 15 refurbished rest houses in Galiyat region to get them on market rental rates as they are going to become operational in the current week.
 
“We have a long list of aspirants who are eager to get the rest houses on rent as they are being opened to public this week,” said Mushtaq Ahmed Khan, managing director of the Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP).
 
Following a landmark decision, he said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government transferred 15 rest houses in Galiyat to the Tourism Department that would boost tourism and facilitate tourists and ordinary citizens to enjoy stay in rest houses of their choice in the scenic Galiyat region.
 
The rest houses, which were earlier in shambles, had been renovated. He said the corporation had prepared a comprehensive operational plan, under which the rest houses could be booked by anybody on market rental rates.
 
“We have devised a booking guideline, details of which will be available soon on the TCKP website (www.kptourism.com). Besides the booking policy, the operational plan covers categorisation of rest houses based on their quality, room rental or full rest house reservation, and booking facility for government servants during their official duty and private visits,” he said.
 
He said that previously these rest houses were only accessible to the employees of those departments and not to the general public, who were facing immense problems of accommodation and were being exploited by the private hotels due to overcharging, especially in the peak seasons.
 
He said a milestone had been achieved in the tourism sector that suffered immensely due to many manmade and natural disasters over the last few years.
 
The provincial government has recently transferred 15 rest houses in Galiyat to the TCKP, including Retreat House, Karnak House in Nathiagali, Inspection Bungalow Chand View – Murree Hills and TCKP Rest House Thandiyani, Additional Cottage Nathiagali, Vendia House Nathiagali, Pines Rest House Nathiagali, Forest Cottage Nathiagali, Forest Rest House Dongagali, Forest Rest House Barian, European Cottage 29 and 30 Nathiagali and Raeeskhana Nathiagali to boost tourism.
 
TCKP General Manager Administration and Properties Sajjad Hameed said the rest houses were being operationalised and opened to the public on market rental rates this week.
 
He said maximum booking period will be seven days to give an opportunity to maximum number of public. Previously, he said, the rest houses used to be booked for long duration by certain people only.
 
These rest houses will be in turn leased out to the private sector under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme.
 
After meeting the recurring expenditure on conservation of some of these architectural marvels, utilities and salaries, the revenue generated from the rent of rest houses will be divided according to a net profit sharing formula i.e. 75 percent of Galiyat Development Authority (GDA) and 25 percent of TCKP.
 
The larger share (75 percent will go to the cash-starved GDA under a special plan for carrying out “Model Social Welfare Activities/Programme” in the vicinity of these rest houses and also for accomplishing development work for the local community.