K-P says Malam Jabba project awarded in transparent manner

Asks centre to help develop the project as a tourist resort

Zafar Bhutta November 03, 2018
The project would generate a huge amount of money, besides becoming an attraction for both local and foreign tourists. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government has informed the federal government that the Malam Jabba Swat project has been awarded in line with all legal formalities and urged the centre to help develop it as a tourist resort in order to attract national and international tourists for better returns.

In a report, the K-P government pointed out that a political party had been creating hurdles in the way of the project, which could not be developed since 1969. It revealed that the hotel had been built at a cost of Rs1 billion and warned that the company working on the five-star project could abandon it if there were unnecessary delays.

The K-P government submitted its report to the prime minister and said the former ‘wali’ of Swat and his family had agreed to give 270 acres of land for a ski resort and five acres of land for a hotel project.

K-P Advocate General Abdul Latif Yousafzai said in the report all formalities were followed in a fair and transparent manner for awarding the Malam Jabba project. There was no legal flaw and shortcoming in awarding the project, he said.

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Moreover, no financial loss was caused to the provincial government rather the project would generate a huge amount of money, besides becoming an attraction for both local and foreign tourists, the report added.

An advertisement was published on March 3, 2014 about the Malam Jabba ski, chairlift and hotel project. The advertisement read that the provincial government would arrange land measuring approximately 275 acres - five acres for hotel and 270 acres for ski resort/chairlift for a period of 33 years.

Bids were received from three parties. On the recommendation of a sub-committee, all the three firms were asked to give a presentation to the main committee. The successful bidder TCKP was asked to draft an agreement with the Samson’s Group being the highest bidder.

The cabinet, in its meeting held on April 25, 2018, was briefed about the lease of land for the Malam Jabba chairlift and hotel. It was highlighted that the land measuring around 12 acres was leased for the chairlift and hotel while 257 acres would merely be used for roaming facility.

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Later, the K-P chief minister, on recommendations of the Board of Revenue, Planning and Development and Tourism Departments, granted an extension in the period of land lease from 15 to 33 years.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 3rd, 2018.

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