PESHAWAR: The provincial government is working on constructing a road to link Chakdara in Lower Dir with the northern town of Gilgit as an alternative route for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the province.
Like other CPEC routes, this route is also expected to help boost tourism and economy along with it.
This was disclosed on Wednesday during a meeting between Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan with the provincial Minister for Communications and Works Akbar Ayub Khan at the CM Secretariat in Peshawar.
The route will comprise the Shandoor and Chitral roads as well.
During the meeting, it was disclosed that work to finalise the Project Concept-1 (PC-I) of the ‘Chakdara-Gilgit CPEC link is expected to be completed soon.
Mahmood said that the government believes tourism has great potential to uplift the economy of the region, adding that they were developing tourist destinations in the northern areas to provide employment to locals.
He reiterated that expanding communication networks, building roads, promoting tourism and opening industrial zones remain the top priorities of the provincial government.
The chief minister added that the provincial government has initiated projects for sustainable development and prosperity in the newly-merged tribal districts (NMTDs). Efforts in this regard were underway to improve bilateral trade with Afghanistan and other Central Asian countries to boost economic activities in the province.
Such activities, he hoped, will further enhance regional cooperation, law and order and bilateral trade.
However, the chief minister hinted that there were sparse funds available locally to achieve such development, hence he said that foreign investment was crucial for the development of the province. For this purpose, he said that the provincial government is trying to attract foreign investment and making it easier to do business in K-P.
Mahmood further stated that the provincial government is taking all possible steps to bring about an economic revolution in the province and that they will create public awareness about all public interest measures so that the people can draw benefit from such initiatives.
The chief minister said that the government has formulated an integrated strategy for economic stability in the province.
Operationalising of industrial zones across the province will not only pave the way for development but will also provide greater employment opportunities to the people, he said.
The chief minister further stated that focus was also being given for peace and prosperity in the province along with developmental projects.
K-P Information Minister Shaukat Ali Yousafzai and CM’s Principal Secretary Shahab Ali Shah were also present on the occasion.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 26th, 2019.