Lowari tunnel reached the verge of completion
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.