Home Business Hazarganji-Chiltan National Park needs showcasing as tourist hotspot

Hazarganji-Chiltan National Park needs showcasing as tourist hotspot

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ISLAMABAD, June 03 (INP) – Hazarganji Chiltan National Park (HCNP) should be promoted overseas as a tourist hotspot in order to increase the footfall of foreign tourists. It will open new windows of business opportunities and increase revenue, said Dawood Tareen, Director of Culture and Tourism Directorate Focal Person for Balochistan, in an interview with WealthPK.

He said, “Spanning an area of about 15,555 hectares, the park is a verdant paradise waiting to be promoted at the international level. There is a small museum and hiking tracks covering an area of about 30 kilometres. To monitor the movement and behaviour of animals, especially the Markhor, at least 10 hideouts are available. There are two official rest houses in the park, with two more located in Karakas, an area in the park’s vicinity.”

He said the heavenly verdant of the park plays a vital role in the area’s environment, tourism, and as a sanctuary for a variety of avifauna, reptiles, and mammals. By keeping all the precautionary measures in view to avoid any disturbance to its ecology, a controlled number of tourists should be allowed to visit here. Additionally, he highlighted the importance of gently educating visitors to behave responsibly during their stay.

Dawood said, “Safaris that respect wildlife and preserve natural habitats are achievable. Similarly, hikers and trekkers can be guided to appreciate nature without harming it. Over time, as the park’s allure and conservation goals become clear, visitors will learn to tour responsibly. In all national parks across the country, the same measures are necessary to be taken.”

Balochistan Syed Ali Imran, Conservator of the Forests and Wildlife Department, told WealthPK that HCNP was established in 1980 in the Mastung District of western Balochistan between Chiltan district (on the west), and Hazarganji (on the east). The maximum height of the Chiltan peak in HCNP is about 10,500 feet, while the base camp is at a height of around 6,000 feet. Usually, at a height of about 6,500 to 7,000 feet, temperature falls at least 5⁰ Celsius.

Chiltan is almost barren but in the foothills, the savannah mostly consists of wild pistachio and ash. It is the only national park situated in an arid dry temperate region. It is the last remaining refuge of endemic Chiltan Markhor, habitat of two endemic reptiles, and a stopover of migratory birds.

It is a sanctuary for a variety of flora, including medicinal plants, and fauna, with about 225 plant species, 106 bird species, and more or less 17 to 18 reptile and mammal species. Thanks to proper conservation efforts, the number of near-extinct species is increasing.

Amir Khan, a local trekker and tourist from Balochistan, told WealthPK that the area of HCNP is locally called Mian Ghundai, as it is nestled in the heart of hills. It is almost 20 kilometres away from Quetta, the capital city of Balochistan. In the past, hunting was common here, but since the area was declared as a national park, it has been prohibited and is now a protected place. As HCNP is a famous tourist site, special safari tours and hideouts should be managed for nature watching.

He said the vicinities of HCNP are filled with a variety of vineyards and orchards. On weekends, thousands of people visit the park. So, a proper resort, food point, or shop is direly needed. By promoting HCNP both nationally and globally, the communities in these areas will gain new business prospects, regional development, and socio-economic uplift.

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