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Tunnel be kept open 24/7 demands tunnel committee

Chitral --An extraordinary meeting of the Lowari Tunnel completion committee was held at the Press club with Moulana Sher Aziz  convener of the committee in the chair, Heads / reps  of political parties, NGOs, social organisations and civil society members attended the meeting. Speakers unanimously demanded immediate and round the clock opening of the tunnel both ways without making it one way unnecessarily.  Wg Cdr (r) Fardad Ali Shah said that last year the management of travel through the tunnel was pathetic and this year positive improvement should be seen. He said there should be no discrimination between the resourceful and the helpless in allowing usage of the tunnel and no discretionary powers should be allowed to the NHA people in this regard..


Speakers lamented closure of the tunnel during this summers when no work was going inside. Mohyuddin Gen Secy Terichmir transport union said additional 25 litrs of fuel per vehicle was burnt due to climbing the lowari pass because of closure of the tunnel.  Daily 500 vehicles travel the route which means millions of dollars in imported fuel have been wasted due to unnecessary closure of the tunnel when no work was going on inside he lamented.  It was demanded that an investigation be held into this infliction on the national exchequer.


Muzaffar Ali Jan District president ANP thanked the chief minister and demanded 24 hours opening of the lowari tunnel instead of few hours as was done last year.. Saeed Ahmad Khan president PML(Q) also demanded 24 hours uninterupted two way traffic flow through the tunnel. Niaz A Niazi Advocate president Human rights forum said management at the tunnel needs improvement and passengers should not be tortured unnecessarily.  Moulana Abdul Sami of JUI supported the recommendation to keep the tunnel open 24 hours with immediate effect.


It was demanded that outstanding dues be paid to the concerned company so that remaining construction work can resume but more importantly that the tunnel is there maybe in a crude form and is usable so it should be put to full use until the funds are made available and the finishing cosmetic work resumes inside.   --CN report , 08 Dec 2010


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