Lowari Tunnel to be opened for two days a fortnight, NA told


Islamabad: Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad has assured that allocations for construction of Lowari Tunnel project will be enhanced in order to complete the project at the earliest.

Responding to a call attention notice moved by Iftikharuddin and others in the National Assembly Tuesday he said this is a very important project which will be used for trade with the Central Asian states via Afghanistan.

He said the Prime Minister has recently got a briefing from the National Highway Authority on the Lowari Tunnel and hoped that work on the project will be expedited on war footing.

The Minister of State said that the design of the Lowari Tunnel project was changed in 2009-10 in order to facilitate the passage of heavy traffic from the 8.5 kilometre long tunnel.

He said work on 2.25 kilometre has so far been completed and it is currently not in a position to facilitate heavy traffic. He maintained the tunnel cannot be opened permanently as it lacks basic facilities such as electricity which could lead to accidents.

It has‚ therefore‚ been decided in principle that the Lowari Tunnel will only be opened for two days a fortnight.

When asked about Lyari Expressway project‚ the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs said that the government has directed the National Highway Authority to complete all the ongoing projects including Lyari Expressway Project on time.

He said fifty percent work on this 32 kilometre long expressway has been completed. The project faced delay due to non-acquisition of land but now the government is giving priority to complete the project as soon as possible.

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