LOWER DIR: An official of the National Highway Authority on Monday said widening and improvement of the 38 kilometres Chakdara-Timergara section of the Nowshera-Chitral Highway (N-45) would start soon.

Talking to Dawn here, he said the government had signed a loan agreement of $49.045 million with the EXIM Bank of Korea to execute the project.

The official said the project would help promote trade with neighbouring Central Asian Republics by improving major arterial roads and bridges in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

He said the total cost of the project was $60.740 million out of which Korean EXIM Bank would provide $49.045 million as a soft loan while the rest of $11.695 million would be provided by the government.

The inclusion of Chakdara-Chitral Road in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project had been a longstanding demand of the people of Lower, Upper Dir, Bajaur and Chitral districts.

The opposition parties and the civil society had staged protests last year demanding inclusion of the road project in CPEC.

Anjuman-i-Tajaran Timergara president Anwaruddin said the extension and improvement of the road would ease traffic mess and boost trade activity in the area.

FIVE INJURED ON ROAD: Five students of the University of Malakand were injured when two cars coming from the opposite sides collided at a bridge on the Swat River, police and Rescue 1122 officials said.

They said the accident took place due to over-speeding, adding one of the cars fell into the river after the collision.

Five students, including Maaz, Talha, Raees, Azhar and Nangial, were seriously injured.

Rescue 1122 officials shifted the injured to hospitals in Thana and Batkhela. One of them was later referred to a Swat hospital due to his critical condition.

The Chakdara police registered a case and started further investigations.

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2021

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