Swat Expressway Brings Opportunities For Locals, Eases Travelling For Tourists
Peshawar: The Swat Expressway has enhanced the communication and infrastructure in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by connecting three districts and minimising the travel distance to the beautiful valleys of Swat.
The Swat Expressway, which connects Chakdara with M1 Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway, is a mega project of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and was supported by the Asian Development Bank, China and the United Arab Emirates.
The work on the project was started in August 2016 while the expressway was opened for traffic in June 2019 at a cost of $36 billion.
Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood khan, who also hails from Swat, inaugurated the project and congratulated the people of Malakand that their grievances had been removed.
Swat Expressway has opened the mountainous regions to the people of plain areas. The expressway has reduced the travel time between Nowshera and Chakdara from three to one hours.
The expressway starts from the Kernel Sher Khan interchange on M1 and stretches to Lower Dir. It runs for 81 kilometres and passes through Swabi, Mardan, and Malakand districts.
There are interchanges located at different points of the expressway to connect it to cities through link roads. The construction of the expressway had led to infrastructure development in some rural areas adjacent to Malakand.
Swat is home to beautiful valleys, marble and fruits. The development of infrastructure will enhance tourism and provide the locals with an increased opportunity to export their products.
Experts say that Swat expressway has benefited the masses and brought infrastructure development to neglected areas, allowing people to establish new businesses.
Hotels, petrol pumps and tourist spots have been developed in order to attract tourists using the expressway.
Travelers have said that the expressway passes through lush green mountainous fields, and travellers are hit with the breath-taking beauty as they turn from M1 towards Swat. People have also said that the expressway provides a safe opportunity to families travelling in the area.
The road was constructed by the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) constructed. According to FWO engineers, the construction of was not an easy job as in the mountainous areas, one is exposed to risks to a greater extent than in plain areas.
The development of the expressway has been beneficial for many but not for those who have lost hundreds of acres of land. The government promised to provide compensation to these people at a low rate, which has not been paid yet.
People have supported the government’s initiatives but want that the government should pay them compensation for land acquisition so they might be able to start alternative businesses.