PESHAWAR: (APP) The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is launching mega Swat Expressway project on Thursday (August 25) to provide direct access to districts of Malakand to down districts and other region of the country.
The project, costing upto Rs. 41 billion, will be formally inaugurated by Chief Minister KP, Pervez Khattak . The project will be completed in 18 months, said Provincial Minister on Information, Mushtaq Ghani while addressing a press conference here Wednesday at Peshawar Press Club.
Flanked by Advisor to CM on C&W, Akbar Ayub and Advisor to CM on Live Stock, Mohibullah, Information Minister said this is the first ever motorway to be constructed by a provincial government in the country.
The 81 kilometre expressway will start from Karnal Sher Khan Interchange on Motorway and will conclude at Chakdara, reducing the five hours travel duration to just 50 minutes.
The project will be executed by Frontier Works Orgnaization (FWO) and the contract is awarded on merit basis, Mushtaq claimed.
The expressway will have two tunnels in Malakand and six interchanges at different locations, he continued.
He said KP government wanted to ensure transparency in execution of the project and it was therefore decided to award the contract to FWO maintaining high standard of construction and transparency.
Information Minister said the Swat Expressway will prove to be a game changer for the people of Malakand division due to its economic benefit on the region.
He said construction of new and short route will result in increase in tourists visit to the region besides providing easy market access to people of the region.
As a result of the project, traffic congestion on existing National Highway N-45 will reduce besides reducing the vehicle operating costs with direct impact on country's micro economies in general.
Swat Expressway is envisaged to boost Agriculture Economy with KP which will provide efficient means of Farm to Market access for local farmers, he added.
The minister said construction of Swat Expressway could be accomplished while ensuring minimal possible displacement of local people due to land availability.
Earlier, Mushtaq said PTI government is criticized for not launching mega projects in the province. He said for KP government the priority projects were improvement in education, health and security sectors.
He said in KP about 2.1 million students are sitting on grounds while studying in school and our priority is to provide chairs to these students.
Providing 2.1 million chairs to students is a mega project but is not visible to people.
Similarly, he went on to say, the province needs about 40, 000 new teachers for ensuring all schools are fully equipped with capable teachers. The government is also working on construction of around 15,000 new rooms in primary schools to ensure every school holds six rooms, but this achievement is also not visible.
However, we have decided to launch mega projects in communication, housing and power generation sectors . The current year is declared as year of mega projects and people will see launching of numerous programmes of gigantic nature in the province, he concluded.