Rs1.5b released for 123km ‘tourism expressway’

Project to connect Rawalpindi to Kahuta, Kotli Sattian, Murree


Our Correspondent June 26, 2021
PHOTO: AFP

RAWALPINDI:

The federal government has released Rs1.5 billion for the construction of a new 123-kilometre-long tourism expressway from Rawat Pandori Chowk to the three hilly tehsils of Rawalpindi — Kahuta, Kotli Sattian and Murree — and further up to Lohar Topa to Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

The total cost of the project has been estimated at Rs4.5 billion and the first tranche of Rs1.5 billion has been released, officials told The Express Tribune on Friday.

According to details, a survey for the construction of the vital expressway will be completed by July 25. Tenders for the construction of the road will start once the survey is complete.

Officials said that Prime Minister Imran Khan will lay the foundation stone of the long road in August. According to the officials, the expressway will be 20 feet wide and will pass through the dense forest of Panjar.

Read Kotli Sattian to be new tourist spot

According to the officials, this will be an alternative road from Rawalpindi to Muzaffarabad, Murree, Kotli Sattian, Kahuta and Kallar Syedan.

The officials maintained that around a 246-kilometre area on both sides of the expressway will have commercial buildings, plazas, factories, markets, hospitals and educational institutions while large parks will also be set up along the road.

Rawalpindi Development Authority Chairman Tariq Murtaza told The Express Tribune that they also have chalked out a plan to plant 300,000 fruit, flower and shade trees on both sides of the expressway.

He said that 20,000 to 30,000 local traditional fruit trees of the Pothohar and Kohsar region will be planted along the expressway. “This road will also create employment opportunities,” he said adding that the road will be connected to Kotli Sattian from Union Council Narh of Kahuta.

He also said that this road will provide easy access and short time travel to historical Panj Pir rocks, which is a major tourist destination.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2021.

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