MATTA: Standing on the balcony of his two-story riverside hotel, Bilal Mustafa enthuses about the inauguration of a micro-hydroelectric power station in his scenic town.
“The cheap electricity from the station will boost the hotel industry in the area and slash the cost of running hotels and motels,” Mustafa predicted. “Escalating fuel wood prices pose a threat to the sustainability of our hotel businesses.”
Perched along the lower reaches of the Swat River, which snakes through Pakistan’s mountainous northwest province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Matta is popular with tourists who come to see the breathtaking waterfalls and lakes that feed the river, a major tributary of the Indus River.
More than two million people are estimated to visit the district’s valleys annually to enjoy views of the Hindukush mountain peaks and meadows. Mustafa says that 70 per cent of local people here earn a livelihood from tourism.Read More »Imran Khan pushes Pakistan to unlock hydropower potential