129 years old ‘Moto Tunnel’ restored in Ayubia National Park

The 250-feet long tunnel will add to the tourist attractions in the national park

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam reopened the 129-years-old ‘Moto Tunnel’ at the Ayubia National Park. The 250 feet long tunnel was restored jointly by the Ministry of Climate Change and the Wildlife Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under the Global Environment Facility and United Nations Development Fund-supported Sustainable Forest Management project. The tunnel was found during a dig and was not renovated for many years.

The park, known for its beauty and biodiversity, is spread over a span of 3,312 hectares in the Abbottabad district. Ayubia National Park is home to 33 species of mammals, 104 species of plants, 256 species of birds, and 19 species of reptiles, and several archaeological sites of global significance. The park is also known for its four kilometers long pipeline track that connects Ayubia and Nathiagali.

Maintaining the bio-diversity

On the occasion, Malik said that the exploitive tourism practices cannot be sustained in the country and it is important to maintain the biodiversity at the tourist destinations. “Most of them are at risk of vanishing because of damage caused due to unsustainable tourism practices and mining of natural resources from the Park area, particularly tree-felling and contamination of natural water channels,” he said.

“Protecting and preserving natural resources like lakes, mountains, beaches and rivers, which are the main sources of tourism attraction and promoting ecotourism concepts and practices at all levels, which promote sane use of natural resources, is inevitable for overall environmental and economic sustainability,” Aslam stressed.

Facilitation for the tourists

Inspector General Forest at the climate change ministry and conservationist Muhammad Suleyman Khan said that a number of facilities have been provided for the tourists in the tunnel. “Besides, reopening and renovation of the different segments of the tunnel, the tunnel site has been provided with various facilities for tourists including paved track to the tunnel, information center, guiding facilities, sitting and resting areas and coffee shop,” Khan said.

It is important that all tourists, both domestic and foreign, ensure that they do not damage the natural ecosystem of these destinations. Littering, lighting bonfires, and polluting these areas will only make it harder for nature and the locals to survive and thrive. It is crucial that the environment is kept clean for everyone to enjoy these places for a long time to come.

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