With the state government and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal keen on promoting tourism in the Shivalik hills near Pathankot, the realtors are eying good opportunities for business in this area.
The dry and dead hills, which were of little interest for anyone, have suddenly become a favourite area among those interested in investing in the real estate, with a hope to get good return in the future.
The Dhar Block in the area, where only wild grass and trees grow, was earlier explored by some educational institutes who had lured poor farmers to sell out their properties over which they raised large buildings.
After these educational institutes, some hoteliers also managed to purchase land from the farmers in the area and constructed their hotels.
When these structures were built -- most of them on the Pathankot-Dalhousie road and some on Shahpur Kandi road -- the majority of realtors still did not show much interest in the area.
However, when the news broke out about government's plans to develop tourism islands with theme destinations in Dhar block, the queries started pouring in, claim real estate promotors.
It is learnt that some interior areas in the hilly area of Dhar Block have already been purchased by some political figures while many locals have developed their farm houses in the area.
Hundreds of acres are being bought by some "influential persons" hoping to mint money in future as the rates of property in the area are expected to rise, local residents claimed.
"We have suddenly seen a great interest among people to buy land in these areas where the land rates are now far high than those in the past, said Ashok Kumar, a property adviser.
The locals are expecting a lot of facilities in these barren areas, if the plan of deputy chief minister kicks off, he added.
"When I inquired the rates of land in this area a few months ago, they were quite low, but now I am told the rate have gone much higher after the plan to develop tourism islands in the area was announced by the state government, claimed Aditya, a resident of Pathankot.
"I wish I had purchased some land earlier, but now I have to shell out more money if I buy a piece of land here", he added.
"We are suddenly seeing a great interest among buyers in our lands", said Raghubir Pathania of a village near Pathankot.
"We will hold on our plans to sell land as we have learnt that something is going to increase the rate of land in an area, said Pathania, having no clue about the government's plan to promote tourism in Shivalik hills.
Though the government's plan to boost tourism in the area will increase business opportunities in the region, they will cause a big loss to the forest cover in the area.