Lowari tunnel made a one way passage again

Published on: 24/11/2019 | Comments: No comments 

CHITRAL: The District and Sessions judge Chitral had ordered the Lowari tunnel to be made available for two way traffic and the practice was being followed for a few months to the relief of travelers. However now the tunnel has been made a one way passage again according to an NHA official staff present at the tunnel.

Hold up at Lowari tunnel, Nov 24, 12 pm

The person said that the court order of the District and Sessions Judge? Chitral had been challenged at the High court in Swat by the NHA and a stay against the order has been obtained. He further said that the tunnel will forever remain a one way passage tunnel, because anywhere in the world where the length of the tunnel is more than five kilometers it was a one way tunnel.

When he was told that no where in the world is there a one way tunnel even in tunnels as? long as 24 kilometers against 8 kilometer of Lowari tunnel, he had no valid answer other than beating about the bush. The NHA personnel also proudly said that the tunnel “schedule” is to keep it closed between 12 to 2 pm but we out of sympathy for travelers open it at 1:30 pm. He also said that the tunnel is supposed to be closed at night according to the “schedule” but we open it out of sympathy, again.

From his attitude and words it appeared that the Lowari tunnel is running on personal whims and “sympathy” of the people managing it, instead of proper rules and regulations. It also appears that travelers have no statutory rights over the tunnel and their eligibility to use the tunnel is directly proportional to the “sympathy” factor of the NHA staff there. .. CN report, 24 Nov 2019

At the Lowari tunnel, it is ‘Aik nahi, dow Pakistan’ (??? ???? ?? ???????)

Published on: 14/07/2019 | Comments: 1 comment 

Chitral: Despite no work going on inside the tunnel which is virtually in a complete form from inside and both the lanes are wide open and clear, passengers are being held up at both ends on the pretext of one way traffic. However when a vehicle carrying persons who can impose themselves upon the policemen on duty, approach the tunnel with the same impunity as Raymond Davis treated Pakistan. Such people with their vehicles are hastily let in to use the tunnel both ways. This a perfect example of molestation of law in Pakistan.

A policeman on duty at the Chitral end of the tunnel told this scribe on condition of anonymity that they are helpless because they have been instructed to not stop officials even travelling in private vehicles, but women and children in public transport and even small taxi cars are made to wait for upto an hour or more on the pretext of traffic coming from opposite side.

The policeman also lamented that it was the weakness of the public representatives who cannot protect the right of the common man and they (the policemen on duty) have to bear the abuses and curse from the helpless common passengers who look on in anguish when big cars swirl past them into the tunnel breaking the line which they have been waiting in for an hour.

This clearly is a rape of the slogan of ‘NOT TWO But ONE PAKISTAN’? (?? ???? ??? ??????? ) raised by our prime minister to garner the support of the common people. .. CN report, 14 Jul 2019

Chitralis continue to suffer from load and tunnel shedding

Published on: 11/07/2019 | Comments: No comments 

Chitral: No let up in the miseries of Chitralies- While VIPs and govt authorities continue to enjoy separate powerhouses supplying power to them 24 hours along with backup generators, the common man is subjected to obnoxious loadshedding which is inflicted upon the users with vengeance at odd hours like 9 pm? and 3 am at night in the sweltering heat of Chitral town these days.

Lowari tunnel ?schedule?; A big Joke with Chitralis

Similarly, when VIPs /government authorities/Sifarsihis? etc approach the Lowari tunnel. they are allowed to pass through without any question asked but when the vehicle of common passengers approach the tunnel they are rudely dealt with and “made to wait outside by saying, “the tunnel is closed at this time” or “there is traffic from opposite side” etc etc.

Will the common Chitrali ever be treated decently? The elected representatives should answer this question. After all they have been chosen to represent the common people. .. CN report, 11 Jul 2019

Swat tunnel becomes operational, Lowari tunnel hangs in shame

Published on: 03/06/2019 | Comments: 1 comment 

Swat expressway tunnel
Swat motorway Tunnel

Chitral: The 81 Km six lane Swat expressway which was started from scratch in August 2016 has been completed and opened for small vehicles according to news reports. A formal ceremonial inauguration by the PM would be carried out later, the report said. The expressway also has two km long tunnels which allow free flow of traffic in a two way direction.

In contrast, construction of the Lowari tunnel project began in 2005 and today even after 14 long years the tunnel is in incomplete form with warning boards on entrance that say “As the Lowari tunnel is under construction, any body travelling through it will be doing at own risk”. Not only that, there are multiple barriers on both entrances with heavy security giving the impression to the traveler that he/she is entering a highly sensitive area, like some nuclear tunnel or something. The tunnel is closed for 12 hours a day without any logical reason and approaching vehicles are made to queue up in long lines and wait outside the tunnel for the opening time. The Lowari tunnel unlike the Swat tunnel is allowed for one-way traffic which is a big nuisance although it is built for normal two way traffic. Can any one imagine same happening at the Swat tunnel?

Comparison between the Swat tunnel and the Lowari tunnel speaks volumes of the priority the governments all through have given to Chitral and it’s people, and more so about the ineptitude and spinelessness of our political leaders. .. CN report, 03 Jun 2019

Chitralis suffer ruthless transport fare rates despite Lowari tunnel

Published on: 25/12/2018 | Comments: 1 comment 

The tunnel had been inaugurated by then prime minister Nawaz Sharif on August 20, 2017, after which it was opened for public transport.

The approach roads on both sides of the tunnel are nearing completion with the result that the duration of journey has been reduced significantly from five hours to only two-and-half hours between the two districts as the motorists now do not have to negotiate the Lowari top.

The people of Chitral complained that neither the fares of passenger vehicles nor that of the goods transport were revised, which had been fixed when the vehicles passed through the Lowari top.

Jughoor village nazim Sajjad Ahmed Khan said a number of his written suggestions to the district administration to rationalise the exorbitant fares went unheeded.

He said fare between Upper Dir and Peshawar was Rs450 against the distance of 271 kilometres, while it was Rs700 between Upper Dir and Chitral against a distance of just 108 kilometres.

?When you hire a cab, you have to pay Rs1,050 and Rs1,500 for Peshawar-Upper Dir and Upper Dir-Chitral routes,? he said, adding that there was no rationale behind the inflated fares after the completion of the tunnel.

Goods transport fares are also set by the transporters with the result that the prices of daily use items have showed an upsurge in the local markets.

A cloth trader in Shahi Bazaar, Bashir Hussain Azad, told this scribe that the truckers charged three times higher the fare for Chitral compared to Peshawar and Upper Dir.

He complained that the government never bothered to look into the arbitrary fare.

MARKHOR?S BODY RECOVERED:?The body of a Kashmir markhor was retrieved from the Chitral River on Sunday morning after it jumped into the waters frightened by stray dogs. Later, its body was stuffed for preservation and for display as a trophy.

Divisional forest officer of Chitral Gol National Park, Irshad Ahmed, told Dawn that the markhor came down from the national park passing through the Balach village.

He said the goat?s body was retrieved by the watchers of the department near the Chew bridge.

During the current month, he said it was the third incident of markhor jumping into the river.

Published in Dawn, December 25th, 2018

NHA hangs a ‘funny’ banner regarding Lowari Tunnel rules

Published on: 01/12/2018 | Comments: 2 comments 

Chitral: The nuisance called Lowari tunnel seems to have no end. The NHA has hung a rather funny banner at the tunnel spelling out the rules for travelers. At the very look of the banner it appears to be a warning for dangerous criminals trying to enter a nuclear station rather than addressing hard pressed individuals wanting to commute in a normal way in their country. It also appears as if non completion of electric works is fault of the travelers. Specially, the ‘qanooni karwai hogi’ is a slap on the face of every conscientious traveler, as if people travel all the way to the tunnel to get prosecuted.

The banner displays flimsy excuse of closing the tunnel for two hours after every three hours to clear the smoke inside. The fact is that there is no smoke inside and the little that hangs in is because vehicles are held up at the mouth and only let in in convoys which obviously will create smoke even in the most modern tunnels. If vehicles are allowed to cross as they approach without being stopped and both way traffic is utilized as the tunnel is designed for it and fit for, there will be no smoke inside it. This is simple common sense and no rocket science involved in it. Absence of ventilation system is just no problem with the present density of traffic. Maybe it will be required after five years.

Because of the spinelessness of the Chitrali leaders and followers, the NHA all these years has been treating Chitralis as sub-humans who don’t have common sense and who cannot sacrifice for their rights and take everything lying low. .. CN report, 01 Dec 2018

MNA submits privilege motion in NA regarding Lowari tunnel

Published on: 27/11/2018 | Comments: 2 comments 

Chitral: MNA Chitral Molana Abdul Akbar Chitrali has submitted a privilege motion in NA, pleading that on 06 Nov in response to his question in the assembly, the Ministry of communications had assured him that Lowari tunnel has been ordered open for18 hours a day for public transport but after so many days having passed the tunnel is still being opened for 12 hours instead of the declared 18 hours and vehicles are made to wait outside the tunnel for hours and allowed inside the tunnel only in convoys which is against safety rules and is a cause of avoidable suffocation. He pleaded that the privilege motion be accepted and referred to the committee so that the concerned ministry is made to abide by its declaration. .. CN report, 27 Nov 2018

Lowari Tunnel project scam should be thoroughly investigated by NAB

Published on: 24/10/2018 | Comments: No comments 

Dear Sir,,
It is an era of accountability in Pakistan. Every where there is demand for accountability from top to bottom. The people of Pakistan are willing to brave inflation and price hike but want no compromise on accountability for which the PTI government has been voted into power.? I request PM Imran Khan through your esteemed website, to order an inquiry into the causes of the phenomenal cost hike of the Lowari tunnel from initial seven billion rupees to twenty seven billion rupees.

The estimated completion time when the tunnel construction was started in 2005 was three years but now even after fifteen years the tunnel remains incomplete. Such phenomenal corruption and irregularity can only happen in a banana republic like Pakistan. Immediate investigation into the Lowari tunnel scam should be ordered by the Prime Minister and the culprits be brought to task as an example for others. .. Ehsanul Haq, Chitral 24 Oct 2018

Chitral Scouts spokesman issues clarification on tunnel incident

Published on: 16/10/2018 | Comments: 4 comments 

Chitral: A spokesman of Chitral Scouts has issued their clarification on the Lowari tunnel incident involving the MNA. According to the statement the MNA’s vehicle reached the tunnel during tunnel closure time. When the guard asked the driver for identification the latter misbehaved and pushed him aside saying couldn’t he see the MNA sign on the vehicle.. The driver also hit the duty commander on the head with his car key injuring the latter. The MNA started a sit in to cover the misbehavior of his driver, the statement read.

According to the statement the NHA is responsible for opening closing time of tunnel and security is only to register vehicle on both sides. However it helps facilitate official number plate vehicles, ambulances and and other needy travelers to pass through the tunnel during the tunnel closure time.

The spokesman said if the MNA had introduced himself in time he would have been allowed to pass through the tunnel and this situation would not have arisen. The statement regretted blowing up the matter in the social media and termed it uncalled for. .. CN report, 16 Oct 2018

MNA demands 24 hrs opening of Lowari tunnel

Published on: 15/10/2018 | Comments: 1 comment 

Chitral: MNA Chitral Molana Abdul Akbar Chitrali has in a press conference held at Peshawar Press club demanded that the Lowari tunnel be opened as a two way tunnel 24 hours a day just like other tunnels are. He said there is no work going on inside and for years on the pretext of ongoing work Chitralis have been tortured at the tunnel.

The MNA mentioned the rough handling he got at the hands of security personnel at the tunnel and said if the attitude of security personnel continues to be like this there will be emerge many Mazoor Pashtins to challenge the high handedness, but we will not let this happen he quickly added. He said vehicle registration etc should be handed over to police on both sides of the tunnel and NHA should take management of traffic under it’s own control and not make any excuses. He said he would submit a privilege motion in the National Assembly regarding the incident. MPA Molana Hidayatur Rahman and other political leaders were present with him during the press conference.? .. CN report, 15 Oct 2018