Authorities directed to speed up work on Tourism Highway Project

46

The authorities concerned have been directed to speed up the construction work of the Tourism Highway Project which would be an alternative road from Rawalpindi to Muzaffarabad, Murree, Kotli Sattian, Kahuta, and Kallar Syedan. According to an RDA spokesman, Chairman Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) Tariq Mehmood Murtaza, while reviewing the progress of the construction work on the project here the other day, asked the FWO and Nespak to accelerate efforts for early completion of the project.

The authorities concerned were also instructed to complete the missing links in the tourist highway. Murtaza said the completion of the project would provide travel facilities to tourists and the local residents would also benefit from it. He said the project was mainly started to facilitate tourists and promote tourism in the region. The road would be an alternative route to reach Murree and adjoining areas, he added.

According to an RDA spokesman, the foundation stone of the 123-kilometre tourism highway from Rawat Pandori Chowk to the three hilly tehsils of Rawalpindi — Kahuta, Kotli Sattian, and Murree — and further up to Lohar Topa to Azad Jammu and Kashmir, was formally laid in April last year. He informed that the project would be completed at a cost of Rs 4.75 billion.

To a question, he said that both sides of the expressway would have commercial buildings, plazas, factories, markets, hospitals, and educational institutions while large parks would also be set up along the road. Over 200,000 trees would also be planted on both sides of the road. The facilities would be provided besides green areas for the promotion of tourism.

Moreover, automated signals and LEDs for advertisement would also feature throughout the expressway. The 123-km-long road would be completely signal-free, and pass through 40 tourist destinations including 35 new tourist destinations. The authorities concerned were also instructed to complete the missing links in the tourist highway. Murtaza said the completion of the project would provide travel facilities to tourists and the local residents would also benefit from it.