Rs 40 billion Swat Motorway mega project inauguration announced
PESHAWAR - The 81-kilometer Swat Expressway, a mega project of PTI Govt in Khyber Pakthunkhwa, has entered into final stage of completion and was expected to be completed by April this year. Provincial Highway Authority (PHA) senior official told APP on Wednesday work on 1300 meters long twin tunnels at Malakand District, a major component of Swat Expressway, were near completion and would be opened for traffic soon. The official said 50 kilometer portion of the expressway from Karnal Sher stadium to Katlang interchange had been made operational and opened for all kind of vehicular traffic on December 29 last year. He said the target of completion of expressway is April this year and hectic efforts are underway to complete it on schedule time. In addition to two tunnels, 21 bridges and 25 acres service area on each side of the expressway are being constructed near Katlang Mardan. Presently, Swat expressway is four lanes that would be converted into six lane motorway in later stage. Its total cost is about Rs 40billion including an allocation of Rs 6.8 billion for purchase of land, he said adding share of KP Govt in the project is about Rs 11.5billion while the remaining to be paid by donor agency. The official said extra care was being adopted in disbursement of payment among land owners and this process was done through Deputy Commissioners. It is being constructed under Public Private Partnership (PPP) with help of SEPCO Company of Frontier Works Organization (FWO) that would get its invested money back through toll taxes in 25 years after its completion. Being declared environmental safe project, traffic movement on expressway would be monitored through an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) through different modes of cameras and prompt help would be provided to commuters in case of road mishaps. Near the expressway, the KP Govt has planned to construct CPEC City at Nowshera to promote industries, business and housing sector in the province. The 81-kilometers Swat Expressway commences from Karnal Sher interchange in Nowshera District on Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway and will conclude at Chakdara Dir Lower district after passing through 21 bridges and 1300 meters twin tunnels. The people of Malakand, Dir Upper, Dir Lower, Chitral, Shangla, Mardan and Swat districts would largely benefit from this mega project on which construction work was started in December 2016. It will pass through Dobiyan, Ismaila, Katlang, Bakhshali, Palai and Chakdara. He said tourism being main sector of attention of PTI Govt would be immensely promoted in Malakand division after construction of Swat expressway and fruits, horticulture, agriculture and woolen sectors would get upward boost.