PESHAWAR: Work is under way on various access roads, which will be completed at an estimated cost of Rs13 billion to ensure easy access to tourist destinations across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Similarly, under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Integrated Tourism Development (KITE) project, two important projects including Mankyal to Bada Sehri Road and Thandiani Road are being executed at a brisk pace and will be at an estimated cost of Rs4.6 billion and Rs3.182 billion respectively.
The details were shared at a review meeting organized by the Tourism Department with KPK Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the chair. Special Assistant to CM Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif, MPA Mian Sharaft Ali, Principal Secretary to CM Amjad Ali Khan, administrative secretaries concerned and other relevant officials attended the meeting.
On the occasion, the chief minister termed the promotion of tourism as an integral part of the priorities of his government and directed the authorities concerned to accelerate the pace of work on all feasible projects of access roads to the tourist sites. He further directed to make Special Development Authorities operational as soon as possible, adding that funds and human resources required for the purpose should be provided on priority so as to achieve the goal for which Special Development Authorities were established. He also directed the quarters concerned to ensure Safety measures in boats plying in rivers and dams further directing to impose ban on boating without life jackets.
Sharing progress on different roads projects under the Annual Development Plan, the participants were informed that work on various approach roads to the tourist destinations in Hazara division has been underway, which would be completed at a cumulative cost of Rs4.6 billion. The important projects include 15km-long Manoor Valley Road in Mansehra; 10km-long Shugran Road in Mansehra; Ghanol Paprang Road Mansehra; Mandi Mali Road Mansehra and 12km-long Nawazabad to Mandi Road Mansehra. Similarly, work on 11 different access road projects in Malakand division has been in progress and would be completed at an estimated cost of Rs4.8 billion cumulatively. Important projects include 78km-long Marghuzar to Elum Road; 6km-long Madian-Bishigram Road; Areen Daral Road; Bela Bishigram Road; Chail-Bishigram Road; Fazal Banda to Jarogo water fall road and Kafir Banda Road Shangla.
The meeting was further informed that construction of approach road to Sheikh Badin tourist site was in progress, which will cost Rs3 billion. While briefing about the projects under KITE project, it was informed that bid evaluation report for 20km-long Mankyal to Bada Sehri Road and 24-km-long Thandiani Road has been submitted to the relevant forum, adding that contract of these projects would be awarded this month after the approval of bidding evaluation report. Similarly, under the Kite project, 4 Integrated Tourism Zones are being established in the province including Thandiani (Abbottabad), Mankyal (Swat), Ghanol (Mansehra) and Madakalasht (Chitral). Final draft of Management Plan and Investment Plan of these projects has also been submitted to relevant forum for approval. It was further informed in the meeting that Tourist Facilitation Hub has been established adding that for the first time 24/7 helpline (1422) has been provided and fully operationalized since March 2021.