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Chitralis' demand: Keep Lowari Tunnel open in winter

CHITRAL, Oct 22: The residents of Chitral have demanded of the government to open the unfinished Lowari Tunnel for passengers as they faced tremendous hardships in crossing over the Lowari Pass which has received the first snowfall of the year. The passengers reaching here from Peshawar on Monday said the National Highway Authority had closed the tunnel for the general public for no reason as no work was progress inside. Rahim Khan from lower Chitral said it took almost four hours to travel from Upper Dir to the Ziarat Post as the Lowari top has received snow making it quite difficult for the vehicles while through the tunnel it would take only forty five minutes. He said a large number of both passengers and goods transportation vehicles were found stranded in the road which slipped due to the snow. He said that fatal traffic accident is feared while the peril of avalanche was also there to hit the vehicles which have too frequently happened in the past. The transporters have also increased the rate of the fares of passengers as well the goods between upper Dir and Chitral due to the closure of Lowari tunnel for the vehicles resulting in the exorbitant rise in the prices of commodities of daily consumption. The passengers said they found no work going on at the site but the NHA had closed the tunnel.–Zahiruddin]]>

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