Swat Expressway is a major project undertaken by the K-P government. Constructed at a cost of 38 billion, the eighty-one kilometer long expressway is said to boost much needed economic and agricultural activities.
Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has announced that the road will not only enhance transport and road linking in the northern district, but will also boost tourism and employment opportunities in the region, since the northern areas are famous tourist spots. The area has been attracting both local and foreign tourists from around the world. Northern areas of Pakistan boast beautiful sceneries, lakes, valleys and the highest mountain peaks, generating resources for the provincial economy.
The construction of the expressway will start this month (August) and will connect Karnal-Sher Interchange on Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway. The road will pass through Nowshera district, Swabi, forty kilometers in Mardan and twenty-one kilometers in Malakand. The Pakhtunkhwa Highway Authority has estimated, that the expressway will generate both direct and indirect revenue. The road will be accessible to more than 40 villages, which previously sought difficult terrains as their routine routes.
Completion of Swat Expressway will provide access to Swat, Dir, Chitral and Malakand. The time taken from Karnal-Sher Interchange to Chakdara previously took 3 hours including the road and traffic conditions. The authority now estimates that the time will be reduced to only 45 minutes. Similarly the road will boost tourism, pave way to agricultural transportation and promote local industries in Malakand, a potential site for industrial estate.
Almost 70% of the project details have been finalized including the road route and land acquisition. The authorities are trying their best to avoid any kind of inconvenience for small villages. There are measures taken to protect forests and villages adjacent to the expressway. Other foreign institutions including the Asian Development Bank and countries like Korea and Japan have expressed their interest in the project.
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