The Executive Board of the National Highway Authority (NHA) approved PC-1 for widening and improvement of Chitral-Shandur road with an estimated project cost of Rs 19 billion.
The approval was accorded in a board meeting held with Chairman Shahid Ashraf Tarar in the chair. The Board also approved NHA annual maintenance plan for 2017-18 and increased in house ceiling for the employees.
The meeting was told that 153 km long project will consist of 02 lanes with 100 m right of way and would be completed in four sections; Section 1: Chitral-Pret (39 km), Section II: Pret-Booni (40 km), Section III: Booni – Shaidas (38 km) and Section IV: Shaidas – Shandur (35 km).
The project road starts from Chitral and runs towards north parallel to Mastuj / Kunhar River till Booni. It crosses the towns of Mori Payeen, Maroi, Pret, Barenis, Green Lasht, Reshun, Cherun, Jonali Cooch and reaches Booni.
From Booni, the alignment turns towards East and reaches Mastuj after crossing Parwak. From Mastuj it turns towards south and then runs parallel to Laspur River to meet Shandur passing through Onshit, Shaidas, Ghast, Raman, Harchin, Brook, Balim and Surlaspur.
The existing road surface is not in a good condition and with not enough width causing frequent accidents on the road. Moreover, the recent floods and 2005 earth also adversely affected it in various reaches.
The improvement of the project road which is a vital link between two major national highways N-45 and N-35 which will boost the economy of the country specially in perspective of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
It will serve as alternate route for CPEC during winter season when Silk route is closed due to snowfall. The construction of 23 major bridges would also be part of the project. Meeting was also informed that Rs. 200 million have been earmarked for the project in the current financial year.
The Executive Board also approved PC-1 for construction and repair of following 04 bridges along with the approach roads in Chitral damaged by floods and earthquake in 2015 at an estimated cost of Rs. 545 million. Muzhgole Bridge (60 m) with approach road (0.5 Km), Osaik Bridge (90 m) with Approach Road (0.8 Km), Pokel Bridge (45 m ) with Approach Road (0.4 Km) and repair of Churan Bridge.
The Board has increased house ceiling for scale 1-6 to Rs 10000 for NHA employees, sources said. Earlier scale 1-3 had house celing of Rs 5000 while for 4-6 it was Rs 7000.