So, finally I got the opportunity to officially cross the LOWARI TUNNEL on my bike.
Lowari Tunnel (Urdu: لواري سرنگ, Lowari Sarang) is an 10.4 kilometres (6.5 mi) vehicular tunnel under the Lowari Pass of the Hindu Kush mountains, between Dir and Chitral in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.
It is operated by the National Highway Authority and carries traffic on the N-45 National Highway, thus bypassing Lowari Pass. Construction was partly completed by June 2017,The total cost of the tunnel was ₨26.954 billion (US$190 million).
Originally conceived as a railway tunnel, construction began in September 1975 and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
However, less than a year later work stopped in 1976 due to non allocation of funds. Construction resumed again in September 2005 and was initially expected to be completed by 2009 and to convert it into a vehicle road tunnel.
The tunnel essentially allows traffic on the N45 National Highway to bypass the Lowari Pass and will reduce the 14 hour drive between Chitral and Peshawar to only 7 hours.
The tunnel will also facilitate all-weather transportation, as during the long winter season the Lowari Pass is closed, and travelers to and from Chitral have to travel into Afghanistan and then back into Pakistan to access the rest of the country.
Yumna Warraich is a 24 year old Pakistani Tourist Biker who has traveled across the country on her motorcycle. She recently completed her M.Phil. in Marketing from National University of Modern Languages NUML.