NHA says weekly tunnel opening not possible

CHITRAL, Dec 4: The project director of the National Highway Authority (NHA) here on Wednesday said that opening the under-construction Lowari tunnel for more than two days after two weeks was not possible due to the speedy work continuing on the mega project. seminarSpeaking at a seminar here, the NHA project director, Hameed Hussain, said: “To dispel the misunderstanding among the people of Chitral about the NHA as regard to the opening of the tunnel, today I have personally come to Chitral to clarify that work on the project is going on at a fast pace and it is not possible for us to open the passageway for two or three days per week.” He said that there was also the danger of any mishap as blasting and other types of work was undergoing in the tunnel. The completion of the project is already behind its schedule and in case of further delay the government would face more monetary losses besides failing to complete the work on time. He said that to recover the loss of time and money the project had suffered due to the closure for the last many years, the KPK government had promised 3.70 billion rupees but so far the promised amount had not be released, he added. Besides, the federal government has also made promises to release fund. Speaking on the occasion Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shoaib Jadoon said that the district administration had also tried its best to persuade the authorities concerned to open the tunnel at least two days a week. He said meetings were held at the GHQ Rawalpindi and with the corps commander Peshawar but at the end of the deliberations it was decided that opening the tunnel for more than two days after a fortnight would not be possible. He said that the traders had been asked to stock sufficient food items before the closure of the Lowari top road, adding 7,500 tons of wheat had already been brought to Chitral while more was on the way. Speaking on the ocacsion, Abdul Wali Khan Advocate said taht the NHA project director had come to Chitral after decisiing not to open the tunnel for more than two days after every 15 days. He was of the view that the NHA and the Korean company could have shifted their labours and machinery to carry out the work on the access roads and the small tunnel in the Chitral side. It is a matter of life and death for the people of Chitral to travel through the tunnel because the district remains completely cut-off from rest of the country in the winter, he added.-–Syed Nazir Hussain]]>

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