Peshawar             -           Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan on Monday gave approval for feasibility study for the construction of an Expressway from Chakdara to Rabaat (Lower Dir). The proposed expressway will connect Chakdara to Rabaat via Ramla and Ouch villages through a five-kilometer-long tunnel. 

The 26-kilometer long expressway will be constructed with an estimated cost of Rs.10.5 billions. Initially it will be constructed from Chakdara Interchange of Swat Motorway to Rabaat and will further be extended in the next phases.

The Chief Minister gave the approval while chairing a meeting which was also attended by Special Assistants to CM Kamran Bangash and Shafiullah,  MNAs from Dir Muhammad Bashir Khan, Sahibzada Sibghatullah, and Mehboob Shah, members provincial assembly, Humayun Khan, Muhammad Azam Khan and Liaqat Ali, Additional Chief Secretary Shakil Qadir, Secretary Communication and Works Ejaz Hussain Ansari, Principal Secretary to CM Shahab Ali Shah, Special Secretary Muhammad Khaliq, Managing Director Pakhtunkhwa Highways Authority and other relevant authorities. 

The meeting was briefed on three various options of routes for the construction of the proposed expressway and the forum agreed to the shortest route i.e. Chakdara to Rabaat via Ramla and Ouch. 

Prime Minister Imran Khan during a call on meeting with the parliamentarians of Dir back in February 2020 had issued directives to start homework on the project. In the light of the PM’s directives, Communication and Works Department and Pakhtunkhwa Highways Authority started spade work on the project and came up with three possible options. 

The meeting was informed that PC-II for the feasibility of the project had already been prepared and submitted to the concerned forum. The meeting was told that financial and commercial feasibility of the project would be completed in three months period and the proposed expressway would be an alternate to the existing N-45 from Chakdara to Rabaat. It will have a five kilometer long tunnel which will reduce a travel distance of 23 kilometer approximately.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister termed the proposed expressway as an important project to boost tourism and commercial activities in the region and said on completion the project would provide better and quality communication facilities to the people of Lower Dir, Upper Dir, Bajaur and Chitral. He made it clear that the expressway would be a project of the Provincial government apart from the proposed Chakdara-Chitral Road under CPEC project.  He said the proposed Chakdara-Chitral Road project was intact and no funds of the project had been diverted to any other project. He reiterated his resolve to develop all districts and areas of the province equally and said that no injustice regarding developmental projects would be done to any district. He rebutted the allegations of opposition about diversion of funds of Chakdara-Chitral Road project to any other project and said that some political elements, through baseless propaganda, were trying to mislead the public for their political point scoring.