Gojal: The National Highway Authority (NHA) has decided to inaugurate the Pak-China Friendship Tunnels, also famous as the Attabad Tunnels, on Aug. 14, sources privy to the project told Mountain TV.
Albeit the China Road and Bridge Corporation that is constructing the series of three tunnels and bridges had requested NHA for three months extension for completion of the tunnels from the slated inauguration date, yet the government has issued directives to NHA to inaugurate the tunnels on Aug. 14 and continue finishing works afterward.
An official close to NHA told Mountain TV on condition of anonymity that they are under immense pressure from the government to expedite work on the tunnels and inaugurate them on Aug. 14. Total length of the tunnels is about seven kilo meters.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to inaugurate the tunnels that will link Gojal Valley through land route with the rest of Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan after almost five years, sources said.
Opening of the tunnels for traffic will bring relief to a population of about 25,000 in Gojal Valley that has remained disconnected from the rest of the region after the Attabad landslide disaster of Jan. 2010 and the resulting creation of the famous Attabad Lake that inundated the Karakoram Highway.