Islamabad: Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz along with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Senior Minister Atif Khan inaugurated Margalla Ridge Trail on Saturday.
The trail was inaugurated during a colourful ceremony organized at visitors’ information center Trail-5. On the occasion, KP tourism secretary, Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad director general (Environment), representatives of Islamabad Wildlife Management Board, civil society and environmentalists were also present.
Margalla Ridge Trail is the longest single trans-provincial trail in the country starting from Shah Allah Ditta area of Islamabad to Summa area of KP. The total length of the track is 44 kilometers. It was also briefed that the trail had several exit points at different locations. It was also informed that largest part of the trail, around 30 to 35 kilometers, falls in the limits of KP.
Addressing the ceremony, Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz said that Islamabad is one of the most beautiful capitals of the world and is famous for its fascinating décor and natural beauty. Margalla Hills are the main feature of this beauty. He further added that due to seasonal water springs, sightseeing spots, walking and hiking trails, visitors from all over the world daily visit Margalla Hills. He further added that the Margalla Ridge Trail would attract more tourists to Islamabad and would further promote the healthy activities in the city.
He said that the MCI was taking consolidated steps to further beautify the city through tree plantation campaigns, remodeling green belts and up-gradation of parks by involving private sector under the CSR. He further added that the MCI had practically engaged the private sector, individuals and different institutes who have planted trees on their own expense while MCI had only facilitated them by providing manpower and technical expertise. While appreciating the efforts of Islamabad Wildlife Management Board, the mayor said that the board was working very hard to preserve the ecology of the national park and playing a vital role in preserving this park for next generations.
In his address, KP Senior Minister Atif Khan said, “Pakistan is a country blessed with natural tourist sites and we are working to identify and explore new tourist destinations where eco-friendly tourism will be promoted.”
He said that development of the Margalla Ridge Trail was a commendable effort, which would help promote tourism activities. He said that the KP government would provide more facilities for the people hiking on the track as largest portion of the track falls in the KP.
Published in Daily Times, November 4th 2018.