ISLAMABAD: The electro-mechanical (E&M) work at the Lowari Tunnel is under procurement stage and it is expected that it would be completed two years after its commencement.
An official of the National Highway Authority (NHA) told APP here on Tuesday that the civil work at the tunnel, comprising two tunnels of 8.5 km and 1.9 km ech, four bridges, approach roads and platforms had been completed in Nov 2017 and were now under defect liability period of one year.
He said so far Rs24.52 billion have been spent on the project while the expected total cost of the project after completion would be approximately Rs40 billion. After the completion of the civil work, he said, some temporary and provisional (soft operation) of electro-mechanical (E&M) work was made inside the tunnel to open it to traffic twice a day, which was successively increased to nine hours .
The official said the total operation hours of the tunnel were 18 with two hours gap between traffic use for cleaning the smoke and toxic gases.
He said the design and supervisory consultant had strongly objected to the improvised arrangements of temporary installation of limited E&M and thereupon the operation of tunnel for general public.
However, he said, keeping in view the grievances and miseries of the general public the tunnel was being temporarily operated.
To a question, he said the work include tunnel ventilation, lighting system, air quality measurement system, closed circuit telephone system, emergency call, telephone and radio system, public address system and tunnel fittings, traffic management system and toll station, fire detection and fire fighting system, supervisory control and data acquisition and tele-control system, power generation, emergency power and earthing.