Times of Chitral Monitoring – (Online): The construction of Lowari tunnel with total cost of Rs. 10 billion has been halted temporary in the wake of security situation and security forces operation in Swat. Round about 700 employees were working in Lowari tunnel out of which foreigners have been shifted to Islamabad. The first feasibility of the tunnel was carried out in 1955 while work on the project was started in 1975 by the Frontier Works Organization (FWO).
Work on the project was restarted in 1995 but it could not be continued. Former President Gen. (Retd) Pervez Musharraf realized the strategic importance of the tunnel and ordered its construction in 2002. The Lowari Tunnel is currently being constructed beneath Lowari Pass by a Korean company. The total length of the tunnel would be 8.8 kilometers while it would be 7.15 meters high and 7.55 meters wide.
Lowari Top is closed by snow from late November to late May every year. During this time, jeeps cannot cross so men must travel by foot. This is dangerous, as there are high mountains on each side of Lowari Top, and a deadly avalanche can come at any moment without warning. Every winter few persons are killed by avalanches while crossing Lowari Top. Their bodies are buried under the snow and it is only when the summer comes and the snow melts that their bodies are found and their fate is learned.
The Lowari Top is one of the four major mountain passes to enter Chitral. The others are the Dorah Pass from Badakshan in Afghanistan, Shandur Top from Gilgit, and Broghol from the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan. Online