Lack of public transport annoys visitors to Isloo
Islamabad’s “beauty with a brain” legislative center has earned a reputation as one of the few clean, green and well-planned cities in the country. While the city has the capacity to surprise visitors, the plan to turn the federal capital into a popular tourist destination has still failed to take off for several reasons and everyone’s loss.
Designed by a Greek architect, Islamabad became the seat of government more than five decades ago. Despite all the pitfalls of modern life, museums, galleries, world-class cultural attractions, well-maintained parks and breathtaking views, the city does not tempt visitors mainly due to the lack of public transportation. .
Tourists have to shell out considerable sums of money for transport for a great day in the city. For example, the taxi ride, alone, from the airport to Faisal Masjid costs more than 2,000 rupees.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Nadeem Bhatt, visiting Islamabad, said: “The government should first provide transportation service to tourist destinations, then provide other facilities.”
“Rawalpindi and Islamabad have thousands of hotels but apart from a few none have information on tourist destinations. Government policies are kept in official closets, ”added the annoyed visitor.
Tourist buses passing through ‘Sightseeing: Twin Cities’ were launched last year but have encountered a decline in tourism due to the second wave of Covid-19. The purpose of the buses is to provide a cheaper alternative for visitors wishing to see more famous places in Islamabad. It remains to be seen whether tourist buses will be able to meet the influx of tourists Islamabad is experiencing, as the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation’s (PTDC) own figures suggest the city receives more than 200,000 visitors per month.
An Islamabad administration city planner, speaking to the Express Tribune on condition of anonymity, said that since the metro bus service only operated near government offices, contacts have been repeatedly engaged with private companies to provide more tourist transportation options, but no positive response has been received.
Besides transport, the language barrier is also an obstacle for foreign tourists. Abu Zafar Sadiq, president of the Pakistan Alpine Club, proposed that the government set up a tourist guide translated into Urdu, English and Chinese as well as information boards.
Dr Navid, another disgruntled visitor, urged the prime minister to take note of the lack of facilities in Islamabad, especially transport.
Posted in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2021.