World Bank to help Punjab govt promote religious, cultural tourism: report

TAXILA: The World Bank will provide the Punjab government with $500 million to promote religious and cultural tourism and improve infrastructure at nine religious sites, according to a report by a private media outlet.

The Gurdwara Sacha Sauda in Sheikhupura, Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpura in Narowal and Gurdwara Rori Sahib Eminabad in Gujranwala will be restored and provided with tourism facilities, while the tomb of Bibi Jawindi, Uch Sharif Bahawalpur, the shrine of Shah Rukn-i-Alam Multan and the shrine of Hazrat Ghulam Fareed in Kot Mithan Rajanpur will also be restored and uplifted.

Tourism facilities will also be provided at the Taxila Museum, the Mankiala stupa will be restored and tourism facilities will be provided at the Katas Raj temples in Chakwal.

Punjab government and World Bank had finalised a project to strengthen governance and institutional capacity to promote and leverage private participation in order to realise the economic potential of tourist sites.

According to a provincial lawmaker, World Travel and Tourism Council Report 2017 places Pakistan at 136 regarding the tourism industry’s contribution to GDP, and completing the aforementioned projects would boost religious tourism in the country.

Evacuee Trust Property Board Deputy Secretary Shrines Imran Gondal stated that the project would undertake the restoration of centuries-old Sikh temples and provide improved accommodation to Sikh and Hindu pilgrims.