Revised PC-1 of Lowari tunnel access roads

ISLAMABAD, Jan 6: The government is set to approve development projects valuing Rs64 billion, including the revised PC-I of Lowari Tunnel and Access Roads project. The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) will meet on Tuesday to consider one and a half dozen projects for approval in addition to reviewing concept clearance papers of four new schemes. Minister of Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, in his capacity as the CDWP chairman, will preside over the meeting. The tunnel project has been delayed because of dearth of funds and until June last year Rs9.9 billion had been spent. During the Pakistan People’s Party government, funds for the tunnel were diverted to the schemes initiated in the constituency of then prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf. After completion, the tunnel is likely to reduce by half the current 14-hour drive from Chitral to Peshawar. It will greatly facilitate the people of Chitral, who have to travel to Afghanistan and then enter back into Pakistan in winter as the Lowari Top is closed for traffic for most part of the year. Chitral remains virtually inaccessible during winter and the tunnel will facilitate transportation in all seasons. A South Korean construction company Sambu JV has been tasked with undertaking work on the tunnel, which is now promised to be completed by 2017. CDWP will also consider the Ministry of Railways’ project of setting up a support unit at a cost of Rs252 million to execute projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. In order to transport coal to project sites in Punjab, Pakistan and China are planning to build 17km rail lines from the port city to the upcountry. A project in the name of Institutional Strengthening of the Planning Commission costing Rs220 million is also on the agenda. The Rs3.6 billion Balochistan Education Sector Project will also be taken up. For the operation and management of Kashmir Railways Private Limited, a Rs2-billion project has also been included in the agenda. There is no allocation in the current year’s PSDP for the scheme, reducing chances of its approval.]]>

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