After a near-fatal accident where a woman and her son almost lost their lives, the Galiyat Development Authority (GDA) has allowed the Ayubia Chairlift authority to resume operations, although the case is still in pending and the verdict is still to be determined regarding the person responsible of the accident.
The chairlift resumed operation on Friday, July 6 just after three days of the accident where the rope connecting the chairlift, snapped over the pulley. The chairlift bearing Afia Bibi and her five-year-old son Hamza Faisal fell some 10 feet and although both survived the fall, Afia has incurred severe injuries to her spinal cord and was moved to Ayub Medical Hospital and later to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences Islamabad.
Abbottabad DCO Syed Imtiaz Shah ordered the service to be suspended after the incident. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Senior Minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour also ordered an inquiry.
While the inquiry in the matter is still in progress, the resumption of the chairlift operation turns out to be a serious joke with the lives of the innocent tourists who flock the famous and one of the oldest functional chairlifts in the country.
GDA Director Ikhlaq Khan denies that the chairlift has been extended approval by the GDA to resume operations and said will look into the matter. The chairlift however, is fully functional at the moment and despite of heavy charges per head, people are flooding the resort everyday.
Spread over nearly 33 square kilometres, Ayubia National Park, popularly known as Ayubia, comprises four picturesque hill stations, Ghora Daka, Khanaspur, Khaira Gali and Changla Gali.
The current chairlift, situated on a spur in thick alpine forests, was installed in the 1960s at Ghora Daka. Having a length of one and a half kilometres, the manually operated chairlift consists of 55 two-seater units and attracts tourists of all ages and income groups from across the country. The two-way trip takes about half an hour.
In winter, the units hover over a beautiful white blanket covering the hills beneath; picnickers from all over the country flock to Ayubia for the splendid view.