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PESHAWAR: The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has allocated a fund of Rs.14.5 billion for 115 projects in annual development programme (ADP) of the current financial year under the Sports, Tourism, Culture, Youth Affairs and Archaeology Department.

Out of these projects 106 are ongoing and 9 are new projects. Similarly 77 projects are for settled districts and 29 for newly merged districts. Funds to the tone of Rs.14.5 billion have been allocated in the current year's budget for these projects. This was told in Annual Development Program review meeting of Sports, Culture, and Tourism department, held here Sunday.

Additional Chief Secretary Shahab Ali Shah, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Amjad Ali Khan, Secretary Tourism, Muhammad Abid Majeed, Director General Sports Asfandyar Khattak and other concerned officials of the department attended the meeting. It was informed that out of the 115 projects, 4 projects are in the sports sector, 34 in tourism, 15 in archaeology, five in culture and six in youth affairs sector. The meeting was told that 33 projects are due for completion with a total cost of Rs. 6.217 billion.

Similarly, 15 high priority projects worth Rs. 37 billion have been identified and Rs. 10 billion has been allocated for them in current budget. Briefing the meeting about establishment of playground in the province, it was informed that work is underway on 76 schemes in different districts of the province out of which 57 have been completed while the remaining 19 will be completed by the end of this financial year.

Similarly, under the Accelerated Implementation Program, a project of Rs. 2.405 billion has been approved for the up-gradation and rehabilitation of existing sports grounds in the newly merged tribal districts while a project for construction of new sports grounds in each of these districts had been approved under which Rs. 750 million had been allocated for each of the merged districts and Rs. 342 million for each of the tribal sub-division (ex FRs).

The meeting was informed that work is underway on the establishment of four different Integrated Tourism Zones in the province with the financial assistance of World Bank to streamline the tourism sector in the province with a total cost of Rs. 3 billion adding that master plan for these tourism zones has been prepared which will soon be submitted to the World Bank for further progress. Similarly, work is underway on setting up of tourist facilitation centers and rest areas in the province at a cost of Rs. 146 million.

It was further informed that, two major projects for construction of access roads to tourist sites of Hazara and Malakand divisions are also part of the provincial annual development program under which access roads to 12 different tourist sites of Malakand division and six access roads to tourist sites of Hazara division would be constructed.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister termed the promotion of tourism and sports sectors as one of the priority area of his government and said that the provincial government was taking concrete steps for the promotion of these two sectors as per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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