PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan said on Thursday that the parking plaza at Namak Mandi will go a long way in resolving traffic congestion in Peshawar.
At least 200 cars will fit into the seven-floor facility having two basement levels, CM said laying the foundation stone of the parking plaza in the area famous for food, trade, and business.
Brushing aside criticism over the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) project he said that it will add to the beauty of Peshawar and contribute to boosting of tourism and industrialisation.
Regarding saber rattling of the Indian government, Mahmood said: “We are a peace-loving people and offer peace to our neighbours, but if they choose to impose on us, we will not disappoint the nation, as we know the art of defending our motherland.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan had made a prudent decision for de-escalation averting the danger of a possible war between the arch-rival India and Pakistan, Mahmood said.
CM said that this region was home to martial people. The strategic location of their land as a gateway to India for the Central Asian conquerors had always kept them in the state of war throughout history. Sadly, the last 40 years have seen unabated bloodshed, therefore people are more eager for peace, he said.
Regarding PM Imran’s assurance to release Rs20 billion from the net hydel profit share of the province, Mahmood said it will improve the fiscal position of the province.
BRT soft launch would take place on March 23. He said that he would not allow any delay and will take action if the project was further delayed. He also directed the WSSP to review the overbilling and resolve the people grievances.
On another question, the Chief Minister said that he had directed the IGP to bring to justice the killers of Afzal Kohistani and the culprits would be brought to justice soon. On this occasion, the Chief Minister was given the traditional Pashtun gifts such as turban, Chadar, and others. District Nazim Peshawar Arbab Asim and MNA Haji Shaukat Ali also addressed the gathering.
Mahmood said the seven-floor parking plaza, having a commercial section, will also promote food, restaurant, and investment leading to tourism in the area.
He assured to resolve all the traffic-related problems in Namak Mandi on a priority basis.
He appreciated the District Government for a positive step and assured to support the District Government Peshawar in the Developmental and beautification plan. It is the city of the whole of the province where the people from all corners of the province comes and resides thus it is the city of the whole of the province and we have a collective responsibility to its development and beautification, he added.
Mahmood Khan refreshed his old memories of his attachment to Namak Mandi and Peshawar city adding that he had sweet memories when he used to be getting his education in Peshawar and kept on regularly visiting Namak Mandi. He had rich experiences associated with Peshawar city and it is historic place, therefore, we have to develop a positive approach towards the overall development and beautification of this city that will attract tourism and restore the past ascension of the historic city of Peshawar, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2019.