There are some beautiful museums in the world which attract millions of visitors. The region of Mardan is rich in culture and especially Gandhara remains are matchless. The people of Mardan had the idea of a museum for a long time and they were keen to preserve the heritage. For this reason they formed National Heritage Preservation Societies in the past. Ultimately with the interest of the local Government Officials and the then commissioner of Mardan, Mr R N Sahibzada, the proposal of building a museum in Mardan was made in 1990. The museum was opened in April1991.
The original name is Takht-i-Bahi. This town is situated 15 km from Mardan on Swat Malakand road. In 1908/9 the ancient Buddhist history was discovered in the mountains. Large numbers of buildings look beautiful on top of the mountains.
Unfortunately the possessions of the houses and buildings have been taken away illegally and maybe decorating some famous buildings in the rest of the world. The population is expanding and new houses are approaching the site. If ignored for a few more years, the tourist and historic attractions will disappear.
Cultural heritage has a great historical significance. It represents the taste and theme of the time. The Guides Memorial Mardan also has a very relevant historical importance. It was built by the British in 1892 in memory of their soldiers who sacrificed their lives in defence of Queen’s Residency in Kabul on September 23rd 1879.This historical memorial was built in the centre of Mardan city.
There is no doubt that Locomotives are considered as a cleaner alternative to trucks, Buses, coaches, cars and other road vehicles. It plays a vital role in movement system from cargo to local and cross-country destinations.
Whenever I travel from Mardan to Peshawar or in opposite direction towards Swat, in private or in public transport, the Mardan Rail track always attract my attention & cannot stop myself to discuss the Importance of this track with the person beside me. The Track is naturally placed and beautifully built along the roadside and is already connected to Nowshera and Peshawar. It has a good possibly to be connected to Swabi and swat.
The Rail track is of great importance to Mardan in many ways. If re-operated, even locally, will have many benefits: 1: Could decrease heavy and ugly traffic on roads towards Peshawar and Swat.
2. Most importantly could prevent the heavy loss of human lives due to Congested traffic and lack of driving awareness! And remember those who die are mostly young healthy individuals who have no illnesses.
3. Could play a vital role in transportation of local Goods and products (like fruit, vegetables, sugar etc) towards the mainstream and better Market on less price to the farmers and producers.
4. The rail solution offers more room and comfort. Passengers can read or write. The elderly and female passengers with kids will be at ease.
5. The average speed can be double as high in comparison to the bus, thus offering attractive journey times, less labour cost for the passenger mile, and better usage of equipment.
6. Last but not the least that Rail is environmentally friendly. It is a better solution to reduce pollution in a country like Pakistan where pollution is on the increase all the time.
Unfortunately the politicians, MNAs, MPAs and the well off people are asleep and no body has thought about the Train Service in Mardan. Perhaps they like to show off their Land cruisers and Pajeros and are interested to check the speed of their vehicles on the broken roads of Mardan. The irony is that the major Rail Engine Manufacturing Factory (Locomotive Pakistan) is located only 5 miles away from Mardan but there is no Rail service in Mardan. One wonders where are all the engines exported to and what is the future of Train in Mardan?
It is now the time for the local, provincial and central administration to give a positive consideration to the problem and re-open the rail track for the wider benefit of the people of Mardan. ................G.Safi