Saidu Sharif Airport reopening to further boost tourism: CM

Shafi Ullah

MINGORA: Chief Minister Khyber Pakthunkhwa, Mahmood Khan here Friday said reopening of Saidu Sharif Swat Airport after 17 years was a great achievement of the government that would open up the entire Malakand Division especially Swat district for tourism, trade and investment.

Addressing a function after resumption of commercial flights operation at Saidu Sharif airport here, the Chief Minister said it was a historic day for people of entire Malakand Division especially for Swat district with whom yet another promise was fulfilled by PTI Government.

Accompanied by Federal Minister for Aviation, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Federal Minister for Communications, Murad Saeed and Chief Executive Officer PIA, Arshad Malik, the Chief Minister said the people of Swat had suffered a lot and reopening of the airport after 17 years for commercial flights would help generate jobs opportunities for thousands of people besides bolster tourism. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan, Federal Ministers Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Murad Saeed took keen interest in the project and congratulated them on its completion today.

The Chief Minister said tourism was cornerstone of PTI government policy and new tourism destinations was being opened in Swat district. He said completion of Swat Motorway Phase-I had made positive impact on tourism and its phase-II from Chakdara to Fatehpur Madayn would open up the entire Swat valley for trade and tourism.

Mahmood Khan said the Prime Minister would soon be invited for ground breaking ceremony of Swat Motorway Phase-II. He said chairlift would be established that would help tourists to see scenic beauty of Kalam Swat, Kumrat Dir Upper and Matakhaist Chitral.

The Chief Minister said an Austrian investor have selected Swat with a commitment to establish a skiing village that would bolster skiing sport here. Chakdara-Chitral and Shandor expressway project on completion would make Dir Lower, Dir and Chitral district a hub of tourism, trade and investment.

A project worth about Rs 14 billion regarding lifting of water from River Swat to Mingora City would be completed with assistance of Asian Development Bank (ADB) that would address problem of clean drinking water in MIngora City. Work on scores of mega projects was underway and many are in pipelines including 300megawatt Balakot Hydropower Project that would help expedite pace of economic development besides provide inexpensive electricity to consumers.

The Chief Minister said extension in Saidu Sharif airport especially its runway would help increase facilities here. The Chief Minister urged people to strictly follow anti coronavirus SOPs to prevent spread of the infection. Earlier, the Chief Minister planted a tree to formally inaugurate spring trees plantation campaign under 10 billion trees project in Swat district.