Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the long-awaited Lowari Tunnel completed with Rs 27 billion against the initial cost of Rs 7 billion.
In 2015, the government approved additional funds for a revised PC-I of the Lowari Tunnel, and indicated that it would be completed by October 2017 at an estimated cost of Rs 27 billion against the initial cost of Rs 7 billion.
The construction of the Lowari Tunnel began in September 1975 as a railway tunnel, but work was stopped in 1977 after the change in government. The construction resumed in September 2005 initially with a scheduled completion in three years, but that time was extended after it was decided to convert it to a road tunnel.
The tunnel is located on Nowshera-Mardan-Malakand-Chakdara-Chitral National Highway (N-45). Inauguration of the 8.5km long tunnel will provide all weather connecting to Chitral with the rest of the country. Scope of the project includes construction of two tunnels (8.5 km and 1.9 km), access roads and 12 bridges (35 km).