New Balakot City to be developed as tourist hub: PM Imran Khan briefed

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday chaired a meeting on the development of New Balakot City as a tourist hub and asked the officials to involve private investors under PPP mode for the purpose.

While chairing the meeting also attended by Railways Minister Azam Khan Swati, Chief Minister KPK Mahmood Khan, MNA Saleh Swati, KPK Population Minister Syed Ahmed Hussain Shah, Chairman NDMA Lt Gen Akhtar Nawaz Satti and senior officers, the prime minister said that the government wanted to develop new tourist resorts in hilly areas for the promotion of tourism in the country.

“For this purpose, reputed private investors in the field of tourism and hospitality are being attracted to Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode,” he added.

He directed the federal and provincial authorities concerned to take all necessary measures to fully facilitate private investors in this regard.

He further directed the KPK government to take over the entire project from ERRA and accomplish it as a tourist resort. Imran Khan further directed to exclude irrigated land from the project in order to ensure food security in the region.

Earlier the Prime Minister was briefed that a feasibility study on an Rs19.5 Billion project for the development of New Balakot City as a tourist hub on Design-Build-Finance-Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) mode has been completed by NESPAK and KPMG.

It was briefed that 63 percent of residential plots out of the total 6753 under the proposed project are reserved for allotment to the local affects, whereas the remaining 2480 residential and 575 commercial plots besides 800 apartments would be auctioned to generate finances for the execution of the project.

The prime minister was informed that primarily it was the responsibility of the provincial government instead of the federal government to develop New Balakot City.

KPK Government has already acquired land for the purpose as the project would also include a youth hostel, theme park, camping ground and a 3-Star hotel.

The project, when completed will not only ease pressure on existing overloaded tourist destinations but would also earn more than Rs7 Billion as a result of expected revenue sharing with the government.

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