Construction of three government guest houses delayed for years

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SHANGLA: Three government guest houses in Shangla have been awaiting completion as they were demolished by Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority Erra after the 2005 devastating earthquake.
The forest department had four guest houses in the scenic places of Shangla district mostly in upper parts of the district but after developing minor cracks the Erra demolished all of them in 2006 and later tenderised and contracts allotted to the local contractors.
Social activist and a local resident, Mian Sohrab Khan, said that these buildings were only residential sources in Shangla which can be used for tourists as they were located in tourist destinations.
He said one guest house located in Shangla top had been completed and the rest of three were awaiting for completion as just 60-65 percent work had done by the contractors.
The local residents of Shangla on Thursday staged a protest demonstration demanding resumption of work and providing funds for Erra project at front of Erra office in Islamabad.
Zahid Hussain, sub-divisional forest officer, told that the guest houses had been handed over to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa tourism department last year in 2020 after devising a new policy by the KP government.
He said their officer were also lying incomplete for which they had to request to the Erra and government authorities but to no avail.
The guest houses are located at Yakhtangay, Olandar, Kandaw Chakesar and Shangla top which is completed and under use of the Pakistan Army but the rest of three are left incomplete by the contractors.
Attaullah, a local, said that there were not any security and guardian of the incomplete buildings where anyone go and sometime hashish addicted used the building for smoking hashish.
He said the government should resume work on these guest houses to use them for tourism which indeed would help the government in generating huge revenue for the national exchequer.
Doctor Tariq Rauf, Phd ecotourism, told that he had requested the authorities and elected members to play their due role in get completed these guest houses as there were no hotels for tourists visiting the scenic places.
He said it was a golden opportunity for the KP government which was already focusing on the tourism promotion and these buildings just need some funds to complete them and open them for tourists.
A contractor Amad Ahmed Khan who used to be a contractor with the Erra, told that Erra was reluctant to pay funds for guest houses as its initial policy was to complete only schools and health department buildings.
He claimed that Erra was going to emerge into the National Disaster Management Authority NDMA and it had told the KP government to complete their buildings on its own funds.

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