October 22, 2018
ISLAMABAD: The National Highway Authority (NHA) has planned to build a 216-kilometre Gilgit-Shandoor road to provide an alternate route to China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Talking to media on Monday, an official of the NHA confirmed that the project forming part of the Gilgit-Shandoor-Chitral road would provide an alternative route to the CPEC. He said that detail design and feasibility study of the Shandoor-Chitral section has been completed while pre-feasibility study for Gilgit-Shandoor section has been completed.
The official said that the new road will be an all-weather road so that it could facilitate the CPEC route during the winter season as well. Moreover, he informed, it will provide another route to Chitral other than the Lowari Tunnel. The estimated cost of the 345-kilometre road is Rs45 billion.
In the 6th JCC of CPEC held in 2016, it was agreed to include Chitral CPEC road from Gilgit, Shandoor, Chitral to Chakdara in the CPEC portfolio. He said that the road starts from Gilgit town located on Indus Highway and ends at Chitral town located on the Nowshera-Chitral Highway.
About the present condition of the road, he said it was constructed in 2002 by the provincial government but its sharp curves and steep gradient made the movement of heavy traffic difficult and unsuitable.
On the objectives of the project, he said that it would connect adjoining areas and valleys, which would help boost tourism and create new job opportunities for local residents.
“The project will provide better communication system to the people of the area and after completion of Lowari tunnel, this road shall serve as an alternate to Karakorum Highway,” he maintained.