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     October 14,  2015



Lowari tunnel reached the verge of completion

By Zahiruddin

CHITRAL: The widening work of Lowari tunnel has reached the verge of completion as only 400 meters out of the 8.5 kilometers has left behind which will be completed within forty days after which lining concrete will be started.

An official of the project told Chitral Times  that the installation of form work has already been completed on both south (Dir Upper) and north (Chitral) portals and lining concrete work will be started as the widening is completed.

He said that the tunnel had originally been designed as rail tunnel which was later on modified to road tunnel requiring the widening of the tunnel by 2.5 meters while its height was raised.

The official said that the lining work of the tunnel is the finishing of the interior structure of the tunnel after which electrification will be carried out after which the tunnel will be opened for the public transport.

Work on the 20 kms approach road on either sides of the tunnel is yet to be started while the bridge over the stream at the south portal is yet to be completed.

Meanwhile, the development in the tunnel has turned the general public in Chitral apprehensive as the tunnel provided the only way of passage to the residents of Chitral when the Lowari top road is closed after snowfall.

The installation of formwork inside the tunnel meant its total closure for vehicular traffic till the removal of the shuttering which may take more than nine months.

District nazim Chitral Maghfirat Shah said that the people of Chitral will die of famine if the tunnel is not closed in the winter season for traffic as the commodities of daily consumption run out in the absence of replenishment.

He said that the choice of the timing for formwork was inappropriate as there was no other route available to connect Chitral with the rest of the country after the Lowari top road is closed in early December to reopen in the month of May next year.

The people of Chitral demanded that instead of blocking the tunnel by formwork, work on the construction of approach roads should be started during the winter season which will not affect the connectivity of Chitral by land with the rest of the country.


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