Peshawar - Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan on Wednesday termed promotion of sports activities in the province as an integral part of his government priorities and said that the government is working under an integrated strategy to provide playgrounds and other allied facilities at district, tehsil and union council level.

Presiding over a meeting here to review progress on projects regarding construction of playgrounds at union council level in the province, the Chief Minister that work on various projects is underway and on completion the projects would also be helpful in creating a strong and healthy society by enabling youth to utilise their capabilities in positive activities.

The forum discussed various aspects of the projects and took a number of decisions regarding land acquisition mechanism and other related matters.

KP Additional Chief Secretary Shahab Ali Shah, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Amjad Ali Khan, Secretary Sports Tahir Orakzai, Secretary Planning & Development Shah Mehmood, Director General Sports Khalid Khan and other relevant officials attended the meeting.

The meeting was briefed about various aspects of the projects. It was informed that projects would be completed by fiscal year 2024-25 at an estimated cost of Rs3 billion. Under the project playgrounds of two categories would be constructed at union council level.

The playgrounds for which land will have to be acquired would be completed at an estimated cost of Rs28 million whereas the playgrounds for which land would not be acquired would be completed at an estimated cost of Rs15 million.

It was informed that according to the approved mechanism, one playground would be constructed at each union council however more than one playground would also be constructed in those union councils where needed. The Chief Minister termed the projects as of vital importance to boost the sports activities in the province and directed the quarters concerned to fix realistic timelines for the completion of this project. He directed them to take necessary steps to complete the upgradation of Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium by the end of July this year.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister chaired another meeting convened to further streamline the matters of tourism, sports and youth affairs department. The forum discussed the proposal regarding bifurcation of sports & youth affairs department from tourism and to give it a status of separate department.

The Chief Minister directed the authorities concerned to come up with a viable plan for the purpose within a month. He also directed the quarters concerned to complete home work for the bifurcation of agriculture and livestock department as well.