CHITRAL: The construction work of Lowari Tunnel, which connects Dir with Chitral, has been completed and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to inaugurate it today (Thursday).
Lowari Tunnel, which includes two tunnels (8.5 kilometres and 1.9 kilometres), access roads and 12 bridges (35km), is located on Nowshera-Mardan-Malakand-Chakdara-Chitral National Highway (N-45).
In a press release, the government stated that the tunnel is a gift to the local population.
The project seeks to enhance economic growth through accelerated trade activity, generate employment opportunities for the locals, promote tourism and reduce travel time for passengers.
Prior to its construction, the area remained cut off from the rest of the country especially during the winter season.
The PM is also expected to address a public gathering at Chitral?s polo ground.
In 2005, the construction work on the project was re-started during the tenure of Pervez Musharraf. However, the project faced funding issues when Pakistan Peoples Party was into power from 2008 to 2013.
After being elected, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government had allocated about Rs23 billion for the mega project to complete the work.
On Wednesday, the premier had inaugurated the newly established Riazuddin Sheikh Business and Trade Centre in Sialkot.
Addressing the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce, the PM lashed out at his opponents. People of Pakistan knew who was conspiring against the country's development, he said.
?Their target is only to remove Nawaz Sharif and then make their own way. They could not do it through the people's vote and are now looking for another way,? said the prime minister.
"What corruption are they talking about?" wondered the prime minister, saying not a single penny from public funds has ever been misappropriated in his tenure.
*Additional input from APP