During Eid local visitors, as well as those from other parts of Sindh, rushed in large numbers to visit Gorakh Hill Station situated in district Dadu. Despite huge funds at the disposal of Gorakh Hill authorities, the road has not been developed for common vehicles and only four wheel vehicles can climb more than 20 km elevation. The road particularly from Khawal Pass is very dangerous. This time those who could not find or afford hiring a four wheel vehicles used their motorbikes in large numbers.

According to visitors around 20,000 people were visiting Gorkah on daily basis, during three consecutive Eid holidays. This rush resulted in road accidents causing several injuries. Local drivers had a field day; they started fleecing the visitors, increasing fairs from normal Rs 3000 to Rs. 8000 per trip. The drivers did not take the injured to any health facility nor was one available near the area, although the injured were ready to pay hefty amount.

There is only one food shop, run by a close relative of the chairman of Gorakh Development Authority and no one else was given permission to open a restaurant in the area. This created shortage of food and long waits and the owner taking full advantage of the rush and his monopoly, charged extremely high rates. There were also complains from the visitors that the rest house often remained occupied by favorites of the ruling elite and relatives of the Gorakh Development Authority.

Although during last few years there has been some development done at the location but a lot needs to be done. Gorkh Authorities should have taken precautionary measures, in anticipation of crowds descending during Eid holidays and avoided predicament for the visitors.

There should be first aid facility and a couple of ambulances with mobile health staff, to provide quick medical relief to the injured and move the seriously injured to the nearest hospital, other food and tea shops should be allowed to open through open tenders or licensing. Present chairman should seek help from professionals or should be replaced by a professional person, as he is a novice as far as tourism is concerned.

GULSHER PANHWER,

Johi, July 20.