Issues of Tourism at Gorakh Hill-SindhCourier

Issues of Tourism at Gorakh Hill Station

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Issues of Tourism at Gorakh Hill-SindhCourierRules and regulations, effective management and proper infrastructure are required for Gorakh Hill Station to grow, prosper, profit, and become leading tourism site in Sindh. Without this Sindh will lose its gem in tourism due to negligence of poor management, lack of political will, non-representation of its uniqueness, and to an extent diverting resources by corrupt lords.

By Kashif Rustamani

Top of the world in Sindh is Gorakh Hill Station – the only beautiful highest tourist spot in the province, at altitude of 5,690 ft. in the Khirthar Mountain Range. This place breathes peace and is close to nature. That is why Gorakh Hill is famous to nature lovers and people of Pakistan for being coldest place in Sindh and for its mountain sceneries. It is situated at highest plateaus which are only capable of sustaining nomadic lifestyle, and pastoral livelihood.

In the era of advance technology and 4G internet, Gorakh Hill became very popular tourism destination through social media in 2000s, which led it to become must-visit place during summer, especially for people of Southern Pakistan, who wanted to escape the heat. It is now known as Koh-e- Murree of Sindh.

Issues of Tourism at Gorakh Hill- Sindh CourierIssues of Tourism at Gorakh Hill-Sindh CourierHaving said that, it is important to note that Gorakh Hill, as it is symbol of beauty, nature and tourism in Sindh has never been promoted as tourism place to its standards compared to similar places around the world. The other thing worth mentioning is that tourism is now recognized as being an economic activity of global significance, which makes it a great contributor toward economy of nation.  Tourism not only generates revenue but also the employment opportunities, reputation, and business. Countries such as Dubai, Thailand, Bahamas, Japan and China are most growing tourism and travel industries for their reputation and attractions.

Pakistan’s tourism industry and its natural sites have potential to compete in global tourism market and can attract millions of tourists in a year. Notwithstanding, Sindh province is particularly rich in cultural and national heritages and mountains such as Gorakh and other peaks in Khirthar Mountain Range, and Karonjhar, which are gems of industry.

The idea of tourism at Gorakh Hill Station lacks the requirement or normality a tourist spot is supposed to be. In my opinion, a tourist site is whole bunch of packages which provides relief, escape from hectic urban life, leisure, sightseeing, and peace of mind to visitors. Especially Sindhi people who are frustrated by hot weather, load-shedding, inflation, and so on.

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Problem      

Major problems faced by tourists during the travel to Gorakh Hill Station is the absence of management, lack of infrastructure, road safety, low number of hotels, scarcity of food products and water.

The road leading to Gorakh Hill is in poor condition which causes many accidents during the high time of season. Out of 55 kilometers of road from Wahi Pandhi to Gorakh top only 8-10 kilometers road is constructed properly – excluding killer steep climbs. There is no raised pavement marker, reflectors or even streetlights installed on road. It gives clear impression that Gorakh road was not designed to travel at nighttime, either it was deliberately done or by virtue of incompetence of authority.

Not only chilled wind and cold weather but sightseeing is also among main reasons of visiting Gorakh. Amid at traffic and huge number of visitors at Gorakh, people sleep on pathways/trails which are major source of sightseeing. Some visiting people do not even get chance to see a perfect view because of men camping/sleeping on those spots. They return to home with hope of returning again or never.

Issues of Tourism at Gorakh Hill-SindhCourier-1Issues of Tourism at Gorakh Hill-SindhCourier-2Gorakh Hill looks like an abandoned mountain with so many strangers looking for reason why it is so. Because management and authority are itself ghost there, the hired staff is invisible among the herd of tourists and disguise of patronage. Gorakh Development Authority is just a name on paper for collecting funds and dispersing among shady patrons and their managers.

Gorakh Hill Station is not elite type tourism spot neither have developed that reputation at national level. Middle class Sindhi and Urdu speaking are main sample of visitors.  Many of them never paid six to eight thousand in their life like Gorakh hotels charge for staying one night with expensive meal bills.

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Way out

Among these problems we may reconsider and rethink about educating the management/development authority, stakeholders, and local people about proper tourism mechanism, hospitality, management, representation, and aesthetics.

Rules and regulations, effective management and proper infrastructure are required for Gorakh Hill Station to grow, prosper, profit, and become leading tourism site in Sindh. Without this Sindh will lose its gem in tourism due to negligence of poor management, lack of political will, non-representation of its uniqueness, and to an extent diverting resources by corrupt lords.

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Author is an anthropologist and faculty member at Sohail University Karachi Sindh. He can be accessed at [email protected]

 

 

3 thoughts on “Issues of Tourism at Gorakh Hill Station

  1. I observed from the pictures, you posted, that the vast majority of visitors thronging Gorakh Hill are men. Why is this so?

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