Swat Motorway 50 kilometres portion opened for traffic

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, while speaking at a ceremony held at Capt Karnal Sher Khan (Shaheed) Interchange, Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway in connection with the completion of main portion of the Swat Motorway has said that the Swat Motorway would usher in an era of prosperity and development in the entire Malakand region and periphery districts.

The traffic on motorway has been opened from Capt Karnal Sher Khan Interchange, Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway to Katlang Interchange of Swat Motorway.

Fifty kilometres portion of the Swat Motorway from Karnal Sher Khan Interchange till Katlang is opened for traffic while the remaining part of 31 kilometres from Katlang to Chakdara, will be inaugurated by the end of the current calendar year.

More than 18,000 vehicles will be able to ply this route on daily basis generating direct and indirect revenue. Once completed, the project will prove as fortune changer for the province, generating not only immediate benefits but will also provide tremendous prospects for development of transport, communication and tourism in the province.

The Motorway is first of its kind to be constructed by any provincial government in the country under the Public-Private Partnership Act 2014 and will be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 38 billion. The 81km long Motorway will directly link Karnal Sher Khan Interchange on Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway with Chakdara through mountains at Palai and Ala Dhand.

Two-kilometre of the Motorway falls in the vicinity of District Nowshera, 18km in Swabi, 40km in Mardan and 21km in Malakand. The total width of the motorway will be 80 meters. According to officials of the Pakhtunkhwa Highway Authority (PkHA), the length of the tunnels has been estimated at about 2km. With the completion of the Swat Motorway, the journey from Karnal Sher Khan Interchange to Chakdara will take only 45 minutes as opposed to more than 2 hours previously.

The motorway will be constructed on the pattern of motorway with as many as four lanes which will be extended to six lanes afterwards. Interchanges on the motorway will be constructed at Dhobian, Ismaila, Bakshalay, Katlang, Palai and Chakdara. It will provide access to more than 40 villages which were previously inaccessible generating numerous business opportunities for local dwellers. Some of the major areas to benefit directly from the expressway include Nandraka, Mughal Kai, Daulat, Dhobian, Ismaila, Ghariyala, ShahbazGhari, Bakshalay, ShakarTangai, Shamozai, Palai, Aladhand, ZulamKot,Chakdara and onward areas such as Chitral, Dir, Kohistan and Shangla.

The Chief Minister was upbeat about the completion of the project; saying only Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had initiated and completed a mega project and none of the other provincial governments in the country had started such scheme.

The Swat Motorway would not only boost trade and development activities across the region but people would get benefits from it in various other fields as well because the sources of transportation and communication would become trouble-free.

He said that the provincial government had paid Rs 4 billion to the land owners for land acquirement and Rs 11 billion to Frontier Works Organization (FWO). The motorway would remain in justification of FWO for two and half decades, he said.