close
Thursday December 02, 2021

Project launched to set up urban town centres in merged districts

November 23, 2021

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to transform the main bazaars in the merged districts into urban town centres under a project

A spokesperson for the Merged Areas Governance Project (MAGP) said that the scheme with an estimated cost of Rs7827.53 million is part of the Annual Development Programme (ADP) for 2021-22.

He added that in June 2021, the KP government authorities had conducted a survey with the technical assistance of the Merged Areas Governance Project (MAGP) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which surveyed more than 80 urban town centres in the merged areas.

Discussing the concept behind the project, Muhammad Babar Jan from the MAGP, said that a town centre or bazaar is the backbone of a city’s economy. “It is a place where significant commerce, culture, and power is concentrated. People from different backgrounds meet to trade goods and services, access community services and facilities, and enjoy entertainment activities in a hygienic, clean and green atmosphere.” According to the spokesperson, several traders in the merged districts were interviewed during a survey for the project and all of them responded that they could do better if the markets in their areas were provided with better facilities including power supply and streetlights, drinking water plants, public toilets and drainage system.

The traders also sought that the link roads connecting the surrounding communities to the bazaar also needed to be rehabilitated to make the market more accessible while bus and taxicab stands also need to be built to facilitate commuters as it would enable more people to come to the bazaar and thus boost their business.

The MAGP recently released a report titled “Access to Finance for Private Sector Development in the Merged Areas,” which revealed that the overall profile of enterprises was led by young entrepreneurs, with an average age of 32 years. Over half of the businesses have been in operation for five years or less and most are engaged in either wholesale, retail, or other services (70pc).