PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan has directed to expedite the construction work on approach roads to tourist destinations and the renovation/preservation of various archaeological sites in the province adding that establishment of tourism as an industry will not only ensure revenue generation but will also provide livelihood opportunities to local people. The Chief Minister maintained that he is personally monitoring the development projects of tourism sector and directed the construction of walking tracks on need basis to ensure access to tourist destinations.
Chairing a progress review meeting on rehabilitation of archeological sites and construction of tourism sector roads, the Chief Minister clarified that huge resources have been invested during the previous four years to attract national and international tourists and accelerate tourism activities in the province. Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Amjad Ali Khan, Secretary Finance Ikramullah, Secretary Planning & Development Shah Mahmood, Secretary Tourism Tahir Orakzai, Managing Director Pakhtunkhwa Highways Authority, DG KPCTA and other concerned officials attended the meeting.
The participants of the meeting were informed that the rehabilitation and remodeling of 22 km long Mankyal Road and 24 km long Thandiani Road is in progress under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Integrated Tourism Development Project (KITE) which will be completed by October 2024 at a cost of Rs 3.4 and Rs 2.5 billion respectively.
Moreover, under the Provincial Annual Development Program, in Hazara Division, 38% of the physical work is complete on 18 km long Mandi Mali Road, 54% on 10 km Shogran Road, 30% on 9 km Ghanool Paprang Road, 41% on 15 km Manoor valley Road and 31% physical progress has been made on 12 km long Nawazabad to Mundi road. These projects will be completed this year at a cost of 4.6 billion rupees.
Similarly, in Malakand Division, under the ADP, 41% physical progress has been made on 14 km long Kafir Banda Road, 61% on 4.5 km Burj Banda Road, 40% on 7 km Dag Sar Charoona Road, 50 % on 9 Km Chail Beshigram Road, 29% on 4 km Bela Beshigram Road, 36% on 4 km Areen Daral Road, 35% on 6 km Madian Bishigram Road, 19 % on 3 km Guder Lake Road, 23 % on 3 km Anakar Road, and 49 % physical progress has been made on 8 km long Marghuzar to Elum Road. These projects will be completed this year at a cost of Rs 4.8 billion.
The meeting was also told that steps are being taken to promote religious and cultural tourism in the province. Under the KITE project, renovation and rehabilitation of two Masajid, two stupas and three museums in progress. 38% physical work on Bhamala Stupa has been completed. 95% physical work has been completed on Chakdra Museum Dir, 93% on Hund Museum Swabi, 63% on Shapola Stupa Landi Kotal and 60% physical progress has been made on Kalam and Odigram Masajid. These projects will be completed at an estimated cost of 262 million rupees.
The participants were told that substantial progress has been made on the pre-feasibility of the Kumrat Madakalasht cable car project. Addressing the meeting, the Chief Minister said that Tourism Police has been established for the protection of tourists and tourist sites. Three integrated tourism zones are being established for the promotion of eco-friendly and organized tourism which is first of its kind initiative in the history of province.