Lahore: Advisor to CM on Tourism Imran Ali Goraya has said that with the efforts of Punjab Tourism Department, Cholistan has become an attractive spot for local and foreign tourists. He said that job opportunities are created through holding cultural fairs and jeep rally every year which bring prosperity for local people of Cholistan. He said that a jeep rally would be held from February 15 to 17 at historical Qila Drawar for which the Punjab Tourism Department has announced special packages for tourists and students.
He expressed these views while addressing a press conference at Chief Minister’s Secretariat today. Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism Rana Arshad, Secretary Tourism Dr. Saqib Aziz, M.D. Tourism Habibur Rehman Gillani and representative of OBARA Foundation Col. Retd. Kamalluddin were also present on the occasion.
Imran Ali Goraya said that the Punjab government is making all out efforts for promoting tourism. He said that Punjab government had started jeep rally in Cholistan in 2005 the purpose of which was to bring Qila Drawar to limelight for the local and foreign tourists. He said that thousands of tourists visit Cholistan every year. He said that the route of jeep rally is 224km long where fifteen check posts and one mid-break post would be set up. Imran Goraya said that ambulance service and paramedics would also be available to meet any emergent situation besides availability of Rescue 1122. Emergency facilities would also be available in Victoria Hospital Bahawalpur while a standby helicopter has also been arranged. Registration of vehicles, technical inspection, drivers conference, cultural night and fireworks would be held on February 15 while qualifying round would be held on February 16. Jeep rally would be held on February 17 and the prize money has also been increased this year according to which, Rs.200,000, 150,000 and 100,000 would be given to1st, 2nd and third position holders respectively.
Parliamentary Secretary Rana Arshad said that a large number of people is expressing enthusiasm to witness Cholistan rally. He said that cultural activities have also been arranged by the local people and a large number of tourists and spectators is expected this year. He said that promotion of tourism has become the responsibility of provincial governments after 18th amendment. He said that foreign tourists have also contacted us for their participation in the Cholistan Jeep Rally whereas a special event of camel race has also been included in this fair. He said that the Punjab government would bear the expenses up to Rs.one crore and the purpose of holding this event is to bring the cultural activities of south Punjab to limelight. Rana Arshad informed that all arrangements have been completed in this regard and more than one hundred drivers would participate in this rally.