In an important development that will give tourism industry a much-needed shot in the arm, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Public Private Partnership Committee has approved implementation of three key projects called Integrated Tourism Zones (ITZ).
The projects are ITZ Ganool, ITZ Mankiyal and ITZ Madaklasht, which will be developed at a cumulative cost of Rs12.2 billion.
The committee formally approved the tendering of ITZ Ganool which will be followed by the floating of tenders for ITZ Mankiyal and ITZ Madaklasht.
Chairing a meeting of the committee, K-P Chief Minister Mahmood Khan directed the relevant authorities to ensure implementation of the ITZs projects as per the stipulated timelines, adding that it is the priority of his government to develop tourism industry by improving the existing tourism infrastructure and exploiting the new tourist sites in the province.
He said that ITZs not only will provide world class lodging, restaurants, winter sports and other recreational facilities but would also promote various elements of local culture and natural beauties of our scenic sites.
Khan said that the provincial government has undertaken multiple steps to catalyze the development of sustainable tourism thereby ensuring socio economic growth of the province.
He reiterated that his government is working under a realistic strategy to benefit from the tourism potential in the province and make it the base of economic development and self-sustainability.
The chief minister added that the Culture & Tourism (CTA) will have a leading role in materializing the vision of the provincial goverment.
Abou the current status of ITZs projects, the committee was informed that ITZ Ganool, covering an area of 60 acres, would be devel- oped at an estimated cost of Rs5.5 billion having nearby attractions such as Saiful Maluk lake, Dudi Patsar lake, Payala lake, Shogran, Siri Pai and Kaghan valley.
Similarly, 30 acres ITZ Mankiyal would be developed at an estimated cost of Rs2.9 billion having nearby attractions like Jabba lake, Jarogo Valley, Waterfall Katora lake and Swat valley.
ITZ Madaklasht covering an area of 69.4 acres would be developed at a cost of Rs3.8 billion which would have nearby attractions like Chitral goal, National Park, Kalash valley and Shandoor Pass.
It was informed that section-IV has been imposed on the proposed sites for each ITZ project whereas land assessment is also in progress. Besides, 11 KV transmission line is available in the near vicinity of each ITZ and a request has already been made to PESCO for survey and provision of demand notice for connectivity from main transmission line to the sites.
Meanwhile, the chief minister directed the officials to speed up progress on Swat Motorway Phase-II project, warning that unnecessary delay in the implementation of this project would not be tolerated.
Provincial Minister for Law Abdul Shakoor Khan, Advisor to CM on Communication & Works Riaz Khan, Chief Secretary Dr Shehzad Bangash, Additional Chief Secretary Shahab Ali Shah, administrative secretaries of departments concerned and other members attended the meeting.
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