A tunnel that may never complete

CHITRAL, Jan 20: Though the people of Chitral are expecting that the Lowari tunnel would be completed by 2017, current circumstances show that the project would take an unbelievably long time – or may never complete at all. lowari At present, work on the much important project progresses at a snail’s pace. The project needs Rs.16 billion for completion within about two years but the federal government is allocating only Rs.1 billion  annually. So, if the allocation of funds remained at the same pace, the Lowari tunnel would be completed in 16 years notwithstanding the cost escalation to incur as the work gets delayed. Reliable sources in the National Highway Authority (NHA) confirmed to ChitralToday that if the present ratio of financial allocation continued, the project would not be completed even in the next 16 years as by then its cost would jump to over Rs.50 billion. The sources also confirmed that if the government allocated Rs.2 billion per year the project would be ready in eight years, with the allocation of Rs.4 billion per year the mega project would take four years for completion. But seeing the inflation and fluctuation in the rate of the national currency, it is estimated that during this four or eight years the project cost would also escalate and reach the mark of 20 to 22 billion rupees. All these facts are indeed totally frustrating and disappointing as many people also fear that the project would not be completed at all. The Lowari tunnel project was not only aimed at facilitating the people of Chitral but is of great national and strategic interest. Pakistan can easily be connected to Central Asian states through this easily accessible, comparatively safe and less time consuming road. The people of Gilgilt-Baltistan now prefer to use this road instead of the Karakorum Highway and after the completion of the Lowari tunnel commuters would always prefer to use it. Though the project would be a lifeline for Chitrali people, its importance for the national interest cannot be ignored. It was disappointing fact that despite repeated announcements to increase the allocation for the project the federal government did not fulfill its own promises. On the other hand, the federal government released funds to different projects of its own interest. It seems that Islamabad is not interested in the completion of the mega project initiated by former president Pervez Musharraf. Lack of commitment from the policy and decision makers has always left a negative impact on the country’s economy. It was the need of time that the government should allocate maximum funds, at least Rs.5 billion a year, to complete the project as soon as possible. tunnelThe federal government started different projects, released heavy amount for even insignificant schemes but this mega national project could not get its proper attention. The allocation of Rs.1 billion rupees per year would only go to the Korean construction company against the escalation on the original cost and other charges while there would be only 15-20 per cent work on the site. Last year, the PTI-led provincial government had announced to allocate Rs.3 billion from its share of the public sector development prgramme (PSDP) but this was also not fulfilled. All these facts have created frustration and annoyance among the peace-loving and patriotic people of Chitral. Talking to ChitralToday, religious and social circles in Chitral demanded that the federal government should release the required funds for the Lowari tunnel project without any further delay. They also reminded the provincial government of its commitment for allocating Rs.3 billion. Qari Jamal Abdul Nasir, Zahir Khan, Qari Mubarak, Khosh Nawaz, Qari Fazal Haq, Haji Sher Wali Khan, Abdul Bari and others reminded the government that the people of Chitral would not tolerate the delaying tactics and would launch a strong protest moment if the allocations were not increased. They said that the people of Chitral, particularly women and children, faced humiliation at both sides of the tunnel which was shameful.]]>

4 Replies to “A tunnel that may never complete”

  1. it is our national tragedy that our civilian government performances have been shameful in our history, they expend money only on tangible project so that they can get support the peoples in the next election, but have nothing to do with national interest. i dont think that the present government allocate the appropriate fund to the completion of this project.

  2. Ma brar kashi,,phuk guzara ko..Musaharaf is a closed chapter now. We Chitralis are suffering because of our foolish decision to support his candidates. And you are still thinking he has a role to play. Musharaf destroyed this country big time, he was the one responsible for adventures and to bring Osama to Abbotabad. He gave away the basis on telephone calls and did not had the guts to even wait for proper paper work.

  3. Kashi (Islamabad)
    totally agreed with shahid sb ,Musharaf is only hope to save pakistan,. we saw all politician parties,who are not sincere with pakistan and with the people of pakistan.every one just fake promises and busy with making their own bank balances.no body is thinking for the poor people. we had little hope with mulana imran khan’s govt but we seen thatt too now every body in KPK hopeless and they are not satisfied with Maulana Imran khan’s naya pakistan. maulana khan is just talking talking and no practical works,no implementation, nothing else.peshawar incidence was just failure of Maula imran khan govt.because Maulana imran khan connected like nawaz sharif with the taliban. so last hope is musharaf only.

  4. PPP 5 years nothing happened, Snail pace, cost escalates
    ANP in Province nothing happened, pockets full
    PML Nawaz 5 years will go , Snail pace will continue, cost escalates
    PTI and JI in province nothing will happen, no direction
    And JUI is there in every government just milking away, happy
    Admit it ,it’s a man like Musharaf that will “ always ‘ make a difference.
    Mosh Bor Mosh kiNo “ Mush “ Bor

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