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National

May 22, 2018

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KP CM inaugurates Swat Expressway

NOWSHERA: Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said on Monday the Swat Expressway was the first mega project ever completed by a provincial government in the history of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He was addressing a ceremony after inaugurating the first portion of the Swat Expressway from the Karnal Sher Khan Interchange from the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway to Dhobian Interchange.

The chief minister said the government completed the Bab-e-Peshawar Flyover in a short period of time and initiated the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in Peshawar to provide better transport facilities to the people.

Pervez Khattak said the Lahore and Islamabad metro projects were completed in 16 months while the Peshawar BRT project would be ready in record eight months. "This mega project should have been completed in one year, but we wanted to complete it within the tenure of our government," he said.

He said the third mega project of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was the Swat Motorway. The chief minister said the first section of the expressway from Karnal Sher Khan Interchange to Dhobian had been opened today.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) Director General Lt-Gen Muhammad Afzal Khan also addressed the ceremony at the Karnal Sher Khan Interchange, which falls in Nowshera district.

Provincial ministers, local elite and government officials were also present on the occasion. The chief minister said that PTI's political opponents have been asking as to which mega project the provincial government had launched in the five years. He said if other ruling parties had started a single mega project in the province in the last 65 years, they should name it. "Today we have inaugurated one mega project," he declared.

Pervez Khattak said his government initiated mega projects worth billions of rupees and introduced reforms in the education and health sectors. He maintained that improvement in the police system, elimination of corruption and supremacy of merit were the majors successes of the provincial government. "We would answer the questions being raised by our opponents in the 2018 general election," he said. He vowed the PTI would defeat its opponents and win maximum number of assembly seats.

Talking about the allegations of corruption, the chief minister said that a corrupt person accused others of corruption. He said the completion of the mega projects would create employment opportunities and promote tourism besides earning revenue.

Addressing the ceremony, FWO Director General Lt-Gen Muhammad Afzal Khan said that Swat Expressway was a game-changer as it would reduce the distance and facilitate the passengers.

He said that 50,000 trees would be planted on both sides of the Swat Expressway to beautify it. He pointed out that the 1.3 kilometres long double tunnel being built on the expressway was the first of its kind in the history of Pakistan.

Lt Gen Afzal Khan said the 81 kilometres long expressway had 17 interchanges, 21 bridges and 533 culverts. He said the Swat Expressway had four lanes and it could be extended to six lanes in future.

The FWO director general thanked the chief minister for taking interest in the completion of the project and providing funds for it. The road from Karnal Sher Khan Interchange to Katlang Interchange would be opened to traffic once the bridges on the road are completed after Eidul Fitr.

The distance between two interchanges is 50 kilometres while the total length of the road is 81 kilometres. The remaining 31 kilometres from Katlang to Chakdara would be completed by December this year. Its total estimated cost is Rs38 billion.

The government has been claiming that Swat Expressway would help boost trade activities in the region and facilitate local people travelling to other parts of the country. It would reduce the time and distance from Islamabad and Peshawar to Malakand division.

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