MALAKAND, March 19 (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday visited the Swat motorway and inaugurated the three tunnels that will significantly reduce travel time.
Prime Minister Imran Khan unveiled the plaque on the occasion to mark the inauguration and also inspected the completed tunnels. Federal Minister for Communications Murad Saeed accompanied the Prime Minister.
On his arrival at Zalam Kot, Malakand, the Prime Minister was received by Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan and Director General Frontier Works Organization Major General Kamal Azfar.
Briefing the Prime Minister, the DG FWO said the 80-km-long Swat motorway had seven interchanges and three tunnels with lengths of 1,266, 271, and 324 meters. The DG FWO also presented a 3D model of the Swat motorway to the Prime Minister.
The Khyber Pukhtunkhwa government has successfully constructed Pakistan’s first provincial motorway from its own resources.
The Swat Motorway has reduced journey time for commuters, especially tourists and traders. It also benefits the entire Malakand Division comprising Swat, Dir Lower, Dir Upper, Chitral Lower, Chitral Upper, Bajaur, Buner, and Shangla districts.
The motorway originates from Karnal Sher Interchange in Swabi district on the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway and ends at Chakdara in Dir Lower district. Former KP chief minister Pervaiz Khattak had performed its groundbreaking on August 25, 2016.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has recently approved the acquisition of 10,000 Kanal land for the Swat Motorway Phase-II, which would be constructed from Chakdara to Fatehpur Madayn with an estimated cost of Rs 37 billion, besides Rs 20 billion for the cost of land.
The completion of the first phase of Swat Motorway has opened opportunities of trade, business and tourism for the Malakand Division.
The distance between Peshawar and Swat will be reduced to nearly two hours, which earlier used to take about four hours due to the narrow Malakand Pass.
By Shumaila Andleeb
Shumaila Andleeb; Senior Reporter at Associated Press of Pakistan; covering the beats of President, Prime Minister, Foreign Office, and Special Assignments.
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