PESHAWAR: Terming promotion of tourism as one of the top priorities of the government, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Thursday said that pragmatic steps were being taken to develop tourism as an industry to create job opportunities for the people.
He was chairing a progress review meeting of the department concerned at the Chief Minister’s House.
Member Provincial Assembly Mian Sharafat Ali, Secretary Tourism and Culture Abid Majeed and others attended the meeting.
The participants were briefed about outsourcing of public rest houses, integrated tourism zones, public sector development projects, construction of access roads to tourism spots and development schemes reflected in the current Annual Development Programme, said an official communique.
The meeting was told that during the last financial year, cent per cent utilisation of funds against released amounts was ensured. About Rs910 million had been utilised so far out of the total Rs2916 million allocated for the new and ongoing projects of the department during the current financial year, it was informed.
The meeting was told that 128 rest houses, out of total 168, would be re-advertised for outsourcing next month.
Five rest houses in Nathiagali have been transferred to the Tourism Department under the Integrated Tourism Zones (ITZ) programme, four ITZs sites at Manshera, Abbottabad, Lower Chitral and Swat have been approved, the officials said, adding these projects would be ready in all respect for launching by June next year.
Similarly, a survey on eight new ITZs sites has been conducted and would soon be presented to relevant forums for approval.
The officials said that under the PSDP projects, feasibility studies have been approved for development of resorts at Takht-e-Sulaiman in Dera Ismail Khan, Garam Chashma in Lower Chitral, Chapri and Shalzone in Kurram, Sheikh Badin in Lakki Marwat and Takhtbhai in Mardan whereas negotiations with the company concerned were also in final stages for the execution of these projects.
Similarly, the feasibility of a 14km long Kumrat Cable Car project is being prepared whereas progress on the Ayubia Chairlift Project is underway, they added.
The forum was apprised that under the public-private partnership initiatives, work on the feasibility studies for development of Hund Theme Park, Swabi, and Mahodand Lake Swat was in progress.