Dir & Chitral cities in the Northern Area of Pakistan are connected by a 2 lane road and it takes 2.5 hours in the summer season and the road is closed in winter season due to heavy snowfall. The accessibility between Dir and Chitral are completely cut off with the rest of Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan had initiated the project “Lowari Tunnel” during 1987 – 1989 to facilitate the people of Northern Area. It was proposed to construct 2 lane Road tunnel (8.50 km). The project cost was estimated at 2.389 billion. The project was not matured due to lack of funding.
In 1990 ECIL presented a viable conceptual plan for an alternative design of “Piggy Back Rail Tunnel” to NHB. ECIL was appointed as prime consultant to undertake the feasibility study and detailed design of Piggy Back Tunnel in Oct. 1990. ECIL completed the assignment in Feb. 1991. The Project was founded economically Viable and cost effective. The travel time via portals estimated as 15 minutes.
Following are the salient features of the piggy back tunnel at lower pass.
Tunnel X-section area = 22 sq-m
Travel time between portals = 15 minutes
Portal Terminals Facilities:
Vehicle parking areas
Platforms for loading and unloading of vehicles
Signalling, utilities, power house & other operating facilities
NHA again appointed ECIL in 2002 for redesigning the South Portal Approach Road (19 km) and North Portal Approach Road (20 km).
Start Date (month/year):
October 1990 - Oct. 2002
Completion Date (month/year):
February 1991- Ongoing
Survey and investigation
Design of Structures
Design of access roads
Design of Road Tunnel & Piggy back Rail Tunnel
Reconnaissance survey and detailed topographic survey.
Traffic studies and reports
Condition survey of existing paved road stretches
Soil investigation & reports
Material survey and testing report
Land acquisition report and utilities relocation report
Detailed design/drawings and cost estimate for approach roads