PESHAWAR:Swat Expressway, a flagship project of PTI Government, started facilitating tourists, mountaineers and trackers to explore the breathtaking natural beauty of eight northern districts of Malakand Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Tourists mostly belonged to KPK and Punjab provinces were seen rushing towards scenic Kalam, Kumrat, Malam Jabba, Behrain, Mahudhand, Margazar, Fizagut and Chitral to enjoy waterfalls, birds chanting valleys, pleasant weather and ancient walking trails while moving in thick pine forests.
The arrival of tourists including trackers, mountaineers and adventure sports lovers significantly enhanced after construction of Swat Expressway besides bolstering trade and investment.
All hotels were jam packed with tourists in Swat, Shangla, Buner, Dir Upper, Chitral, Dir Lower and Malakand these days after opening of tourism sector in KPK on August 8 after significant reduction in cases of COVID-19.
Swat expressway commences from Karnal Sher Khan Interchange in Swabi district on Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway and concludes at Chakdara in Dir Lower district after passing through about 21 bridges and 1,300 meters long tunnels on National Highway N-45.
To take full advantage of the rich tourism potential of Malakand division, the Government had taken a principled decision to construct state-of-the-art Swat Expressway to explore the hidden tourism treasures of these districts before the world.
The Government decided to extend Swat Expressway up to Mingora Swat from Chakdara Lower Dir under phase-II and approved PC-1 for Chakdara-Mingora section of 37 kilometers length to provide state-of the art communication services to people and tourists visiting Kalam, Malam Jabba, Behrain and Mohudhand velleys.
PC-I of Chakdara-Mingora regarding purchase of land has been approved by Central Development Working Party (CDWP).
Swat motorway would be linked with Kalam and Behrain after completion of 36 kilometers road between the two scenic hilly tourists resorts of Swat.
The expressway is presently four lanes that will be later converted into a six- lane motorway.
Being declared an environmentally safe project, traffic movement on the expressway were being monitored through an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) and prompt help were being provided to commuters in case of road mishaps.
The KP Government has recently approved creation of 300 vacancies for tourism police including 76 for Swat, 37 for Upper Dir, 42 for Chitral, 71 Abbottabad and 74 for Mansehra to facilitate tourists in these tourists destinations around 24/7.