ISLAMABAD - Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf Sunday said the construction of Mansehra Airport would start soon, which will help boost economy.

In a statement, he said location for construction of an airport has been identified in Tanawal area and a team of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has declared the proposed project technically and financially viable after its visit of the area last month. The minister said he and Member National Assembly Capt ® Muhammad Safdar have already visited the location as the federal government is taking keen interest in the uplift of the entire Hazara region. The Land acquisition process for the proposed airport will begin within a month or so which would generate employment opportunities in the scenic but underdeveloped Tanawal area, the minister added.  The project would play a vital role in promoting tourism and facilitate both local and foreign tourists to find a pleasant destination in the peaceful area.

The minister said citizens of six districts of Hazara division are employed in large numbers in the Middle East and the airport will provide them immediate access to their homes as well. He said federal government has been spending Rs450 million on laying the new pipeline of wide diameter from Abbottabad to Mansehra. Once work on pipeline is completed, natural gas would also be supplied to Shinkiari, New Balakot City and other areas that have been deprived of gas so far, he added. Motorway Project, another mega project as announced by the prime  minister, is also well underway and will be formally inaugurated this month while three lanes Burhan-Mansehra expressway project has been duly converted into a four-lane motorway, the minister added.