PESHAWAR: The provincial tourism department will resume work on the Malam Jabba ski, hotel and chairlift development projects soon after melting of snow begins in Swat.

In a statement issued here on Thursday, secretary of the department Aftab Akbar Durrani said work on those projects was suspended due to heavy snowfall in Swat.

He said the department had initiated a number of projects to restore the natural beauty of the scenic Swat valley and thus, attracting national and foreign tourists.

The secretary said the department had planned to build three modern picnic spots in Malam Jabba, which would have 90-room hotel, skiing track, chairlift, parks, kids play area and tuck shops of international standards.

He said the tourism department and Board of Investment and Trade had jointly advertised the pre-qualification of interested parties for installation of chairlift and construction of 90-rooms hotel in Malam Jabba on a lease, which was extendable for 33 years, on BOT basis.

Durrani said the project’s land measured 275 acres and five acres of it meant for a hotel’s construction was to be transferred to the lessee.

He added that the access right of 270-acre land of the environment department was to be given to the lessee.

The secretary said acquisition of land at designated sites and the subsequent implementation of projects had been completed.

He said the six identified sites from Manglore to Malam Jabba included Sair village, two each spots at Khamba and Spinay villages and one at Qilla Pattay.

Durrani said the sites in question measured two kanals each.

“This is a big step jointly taken by the three government departments for the promotion of tourism in the province,” he said.

The secretary said the projects would not only boost tourism but also enhance revenue of local communities and create employment opportunities in Swat.

He said work on all projects would resume soon and that on completion of work, picnic spots would be opened to the public.

Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2015

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