Gul Hamaad Farooqi
Chitral spreading over 14,850 square kilometers is the most scenic but backward area of Pakistan with no industry, factory or any business centres to offer employment opportunities.
As a result, most of the people of Chitral have shifted to cities such as Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Quetta or abroad for earning their livelihood and education of their children.
For the first time, the establishment of an economic zone in Chitral has been approved on which work is going on at a fast pace.
It is worth mentioning here that the economic zone has been approved by the government due to the tireless efforts of Sartaj Ahmad Khan, former tehsil nazim and president Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The provincial government has sanctioned Rs400 million for the construction of an office, roads, drains, installation of tubewells, transformers and electricity.
In the economic zone, more than a hundred factories will be establish here. If the resources are available, most of the marble factories will be set up in this economic zone.
Apart from this, there are plans for mineral and gemstone polishing and cutting, processing of dry fruits, handicrafts and embroidery centers for women.
Economic Zone Manager Habib Khan told ChitralToday correspondent that it covers 40 acres of land. It includes industrial zones and offices etc.
He said that if a dry fruit plant was set up here, dry fruits can be packed with more sophisticated way and will be exported as well.
The local people are also very happy on establishment of the economic zone. They said that the economic zone would create a large number of jobs for the locals.
According to experts, Chitral Economic Zone will be a milestone in changing the fortunes of this area and will lead to launching a network of development works here.