PESHAWAR: The provincial government will set up an economic zone in the Khyber Tribal District apart from an expressway linking the border town of Torkham with the provincial capital of Peshawar.
This was disclosed during a progress review meeting regarding development in the newly-merged tribal districts (NMTDs) on Sunday. The meeting was chaired by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.
During the meeting, Mahmood directed all provincial departments to expedite work on development schemes in the erstwhile federally administered tribal areas (Fata). The chief minister was informed that an economic zone will be established in the Khyber tribal district under the Integrated Transit Trade Management System (ITTMS) which will cost around Rs16 billion. Under the proposed project, the Pakistan-Afghanistan border will remain operational around the clock.
CM Mahmood was further informed that under the Insaf Rozgar programme, as many as 567 domicile holders of the Khyber tribal district will receive Rs110 million interest-free loans. As many as 508 people of Khyber district will benefit from the Kamyab Jawan Programme.
As part of its programme to provide best healthcare facilities to residents of the merged districts, 133,159 Sehat Insaf Cards, out of a total of 217,000 cars, have been distributed amongst residents of the district.
Other major health schemes include the construction of the Pak-Afghan Friendship Hospital at Torkham. Moreover, Rs240 million have been approved for the establishment of a Type-D Hospital in Tirah Bagh Maidan, Rs170 million for the second phase of the hospital being built in Zakhakhel Bazaar, Rs60 million for a trauma and emergency centre, Rs42 million for strengthening the District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) and Rs110 million for 20 civil dispensaries.
In the education sector, Rs2.4 million have been approved for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of fully damaged schools in Bara, and Rs278 million for upgrading educational institutions to high school and higher secondary school levels. For technical education, the meeting was informed that a budget of Rs100 million has been allocated.
The chief minister was also briefed about the Bara Dam for which Rs560 million have been allocated and would benefit one million people. The dam will also produce six megawatts of power and will irrigate 1,700 hectors of lands.
The chief minister said that the Peshawar-Torkham Expressway will play a crucial role in the development of the tribal districts apart from boosting trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The provincial government had on Friday launched a public outreach campaign in the Khyber tribal district where the chief minister had announced the construction of the Rs55.44 billion Peshawar-Torkharm Expressway.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 10th, 2020.