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). An official of NHA said that project forming part of the Gilgit-Shandoor-Chitral road would provide an alternative route to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (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 new road will be an all-weather road and so that it could provide an alternative route to CPEC during the winter season. Moreover, it will provide another route to Chitral other than the Lowari Tunnel. The estimated cost of 345 kilometre road is Rs 45 billion.
In the 6th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of CPEC held in 2016, it was agreed to include Chitral CPEC road from Gilgit,Shandoor,Chitral to Chakdara in CPEC portfolio. The road starts from Gilgit town located on Indus Highway and ends at Chitral town located at Nowshera-Chitral Highway.
According to an official of NHA, the feasibility study of 148 km Shandoor-Chitral section has already been completed whereas the process of feasibility study and preliminary design of he remaining 216 km section Gilgit-Shandoor section will be done in near future for execution of the project under the CPEC umbrella. About the present condition of the road, it was constructed in 2002 by the provincial government but its sharp curves and steep gradient make movement of traffic difficult and unsuitable for heavy traffic. About the objectives of the project, he said that it would connect adjoining areas and valleys, will 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. and create new job opportunities for local residents. The project providing 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.