Govt taking pragmatic steps to develop tourism as industry: KP CM

Published October 18, 2021
A file photo of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan. — APP/File
A file photo of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan. — APP/File

PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is taking concrete steps for the promotion of tourism and sports sectors.

He said that there were ample opportunities for tourism, which could be utilised to provide employment to the people and stabilise the economy of the province, according to a statement issued here on Sunday.

The chief minister expressed these views while chairing Annual Development Programme review meeting of the sports, culture and tourism department here. He said that the government was taking pragmatic measures to develop tourism as an industry.

He directed the concerned authorities to ensure progress on the ongoing development projects of tourism and sports sectors to ensure their completion as per stipulated timelines.

During the briefing, the participants were informed that a total of 115 projects had been reflected in the Annual Development Programme (ADP) under the Sports, Tourism, Culture, Youth Affairs and Archaeology Department of which 106 were ongoing and nine new projects.

Orders completion of sports, tourism projects as per given timelines

Of the total schemes, 77 are for settled districts and 29 for merged districts.Funds to the tuneofRs14.5 billion have been allocated in the current year’s budget for these projects.

Additional chief secretary Shahab Ali Shah, secretary tourism Abid Majeed, director general sports Asfandyar Khattak and other concerned officials of the department attended the meeting.

It was informed that of the 115 projects,54 projects were in the sports sector, 34 in tourism, 15 in archaeology, five in culture and six in the youth affairs sectors.

The meeting was told that 33 projects were due for completion with a total cost of Rs6.21 billion. Similarly, 15 high priority projects have been identified and Rs10 billion allocated for them in the current budget.

Briefing the meeting about establishment of playgrounds in the province, it was stated that work was under way on 76 schemes in different districts of the province of which 57 had been completed and the remaining would be completed by end of this financial year.

Similarly, under the Accelerated Implementation Programme, a Rs2.4 billion project has been approved for the upgradation and rehabilitation of existing sports grounds in the merged tribal districts, while a project for construction of new sports grounds in each of these districts had been approved.

It was stated that work was underway on the establishment of four different Integrated Tourism Zones in the province with the financial assistance of World Bank to streamline the tourism sector in the province with a total cost of Rs3 billion. Also, the master plan for these tourism zones has been prepared which will soon be submitted to the World Bank for further progress.

Similarly, work is underway on setting up of tourist facilitation centres and rest areas in the province at a cost of Rs146 million.

The meeting was told that two major projects for construction of access roads to tourist sites were also part of the provincial ADP under which access roads to 12 different tourist sites of Malakand division and six roads to tourist sites of Hazara division would be constructed.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2021

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