RAWALPINDI: The Punjab government will inaugurate work on the 123.6km-long Tourism Highway next month.

This was decided in a meeting of PTI’s parliamentarians from the area. It was also decided that two functions would be arranged - one in Kahuta and the other in Kotli Sattian - to inaugurate the road work.

The road will commence from Chowk Pindori Kallar Syedan and go on till Mator, Payor and Punjar in Kahuta. It will further connect Chent.

Though there is already a highway from Chent to Kotli Sattian, a new road will be built from Kotli Sattian to Lower Topa, which will then connect Muzaffarabad in future.

Road to set up new transport, trade link between Pindi’s three tehsils, tourist destinations

On the other hand, the Punjab government imposed Section 144 in the area where the road would be constructed to stop sale and purchase of land till the completion of land acquisition.

Section 144 has been implemented in the area of the proposed road alignment to build the tourism highway for three months.

Additional Chief Secretary Home Punjab Zafar Nasrullah Khan has issued a notification in accordance with the powers vested in him under Section 144 (6) of the Criminal Code, 1898. Any construction on either side of the 220-foot road is prohibited.

According to a senior official of the district administration, the cost of the tourism highway under the Public Sector Development Programme 2021-22 has been estimated at Rs4.051 billion.

He said it would be the shortest possible road link to connect New Murree to Panjpeer Rocks, adding that, “the proposed road link will reduce the travelling time between both tourist destinations”.

The official said stop over and camping sites were available for tourists on either sides of the track while two beautiful natural streams (flowing throughout the year) will cross the track at different locations, giving an access to tourists to undertake water activities.

This proposed road link will also establish a new transport and trade link between the three tehsils and tourist destinations of Rawalpindi district.

This proposed road link will facilitate the local inhabitants leading to an economic and tourism growth in the hilly belt of Punjab.

The senior official said 6,610 vehicles were expected to pass daily through the 123.62km-long tourism highway in Rawalpindi district.

Under the scheme, he said Rs2,486 million would be spend on road work, Rs912m on road structure, Rs180.359m on road furniture and Rs39m on land acquisition.

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2021

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