Lowari Tunnel: KPK allocates more funds than federal govt

PESHAWAR, July 23: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has allocated Rs3 billion from the public sector development programme (PDSP) to complete the Lowari Tunnel, stated a notification issued by the CM Secretariat. lowariWork on the tunnel began in 2006 in order to facilitate the people of Chitral to travel to the rest of the country. However, it is yet to be completed due to insufficient funds allocated by the federal government. When construction began in 2006, the 8.5-kilometre long railway tunnel was to be built at an estimated cost of Rs8 billion. Digging for the tunnel was completed by 2009, but its design was later revised from rail to road tunnel, resulting in further delays and escalating costs. The revised cost was then estimated to be Rs18 billion. From the current federal PSDP, the government initially allocated Rs1 billion for the project; this amount was not well received by the KP Assembly. During its budget session, the house through a unanimous resolution demanded the centre to allocate Rs4 billion to the tunnel so it could be completed. It may be noted that the federal government has promised to release Rs2 billion for the mega project in its budget 2013-14. Keeping in mind the difficulties faced by the people of the region while travelling, the K-P government has now decided to transfer Rs3 billion from its share of the PSDP to finish the project.–Express Tribune]]>

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