Balochistan region in not only famous for rich natural resources but it could be an attractive recreational place provided that tourism department of Balochistan plays an active role. People from outside Balochistan are not willing to visit the province because of instability and law and order situation. If the situation is made better than people will certainly visit Balochistan to see its scenic beauty.
Last year in summer, we friends decided to rest a night in Shaban area which was a new place for us to visit. It is located 35 miles from Quetta city and route for this place goes through Hanna Orak valley, and takes more than three hours to reach there. The distance is too long due to unrepaired highway and, mountainous region; however, the lush green valley quickly switches on your mood and appeals you to enjoy and think about the natural beauty which is yet to be explored.
The area has a huge number of apple gardens which accompany you throughout your journey, and finally the sound of waterfall in Shaban makes you forget the congestion, pollution and the entire disturbance of Quetta city, but be aware the area lacks each and every type of facility. You are quite lucky if one among you can replace a flat tyre and knows little bit about mechanics of car, otherwise you have to Wait for God’s help to reach your destination on time.
The residents are lucky and unlucky as well. They do have a wonderful environment to breath, fresh fruits to eat and live a simple traditional life, but it will be amazing to most of the readers that their life in a year is constrained to eight months. For four months they are totally underground when heavy snowfall season begins. In these four months the job of female is to spend all the time inside rooms, feed children and cover them from cold.
Majority of youth that belong from Shaban are working in coal mines of Shahrag in district Harnai. They return home after a month or two or probably after a complete mining season. They are far away from the colorful life of a city and can’t imagine having a job facility next door and spend time with their family on daily basis.
When asked from a resident that how they do manage when somebody is suffering a serious illness and road is blocked for four month due to snowfall, he replied. “We make the patient sit on donkey to pass these tall mountains and if a patient is a child then he is easily manageable to fit around and move toward city. It takes almost the entire day to reach hospitals.”
Tourism department of Balochistan needs to invite private investors to invest in hotels, parks, and of course more plantations by government to save and as well enhance the beauty of the area. Black top road will not only make it easy for residents of Shaban to transport their fruit and vegetable products to market on time but tourists can reach the place in short span of time. Apart from that the tourism in Shahban will result in provision of jobs for the local people and their standard of living will increase.
Furthermore, the area can be used for building housing schemes for the people of Quetta who are tired of congestion and increasing house rents. Government can specify a vast area for only to be sold to low rank government employees, middle and lower income families. Once the area becomes developed then more investors will come there and Shaban will further develop.
The effect might not be impressive in short run, but in long run it will be certainly beneficial. When people start shifting to Shaban for residential purposes then burden on Quetta city will also reduce. This is one of the possible ways to increase the standard of life in Balochistan region.
Published in The Balochistan Point on July 18, 2014.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and The Balochistan Point not necessarily agrees with them.