The Tourism Game Changer | ECNEC Approves 40 Billion ‘Dir Motorway’ Project
CHAKDARA: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) of Pakistan in its recent meeting approved three major development projects worth Rs. 339 billion.
Among the projects approved is Dir Motorway, a much-needed connectivity project in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and a real tourism game-changer, which will definitely boost the regional tourism and trade activities throughout the region. Apparently, this is a 29.4 km long, four-lane highway, which begins and ends in the Lower Dir district of KP, but in a larger context, the project will bring development and prosperity to the region.
“The Dir Motorway, starting from Chakdara, is both parts of the tour route to the north, and will ultimately connect to Chitral, Gilgit, and transform trade with China,” according to Taimur Khan Jhagra, Finance, and Health Minister KP.
Dir Motorway will be constructed with an estimated cost of Rs. 40 billion. The four-lane motorway will be constructed between Chakdara and Rabat town of Dir Lower. The Government of KP is sponsoring the project that will be executed by Pakhtunkhwa Highway Authority. The projects include the construction of bridges, underpasses, flyovers, and tunnels. Dir Motorway, which will start from Chakdara, will end at Rabat town, which is located close to the border of the Upper Dir district. Upper Dir touches the Chitral district, which shares borders with Gilgit Baltistan.
The Government of KP wants the inclusion of the Chitral-Chakdara Motorway (M-1) project in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). If approved, the project will connect Chitral, the northernmost district of KP, with Chakdara Lower Dir. The length of the proposed Motorway is 214 kilometers. The Chitral Motorway will join Swat Expressway at Chakdara to reach Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway (M1) at Karnal Sher Khan Interchange close to Rashakai Special Economic Zone.