GILGIT: The process to construct Nagar highway as an alternative route to Karakoram Highway (KKH) at Nagar and Hunza portions started on Thursday.
The 40-kilometre-long road starts off from KKH in Pissan at the left side of the Hunza river and passes through Nagar and ends in Hoper Nagar. The highway also links with KKH at Ganish Hunza. The project is estimated to cost Rs4 billion.
Secretary Works Najeeb Alam had given technical sanction of the highway while the bidding process for the project started on Thursday. The project was a long standing demand of the people of Nagar district.
The construction of the highway will also provide an alternative to the KKH which passes through glacier melting-affected areas of Hasanabad in Hunza.
In the summer, the KKH remains blocked for many months owing to the glacier outburst flooding from Shisper Glacier in Hasanabad. Last year, the glacier outburst flooding swept away a bridge on the KKH at Hasanabad and submerged a portion of the KKH.
The Nagar highway will also shorten the distance of KKH in the area and provide access to many tourist areas in Nagar.
Project Director Mohammad Essa told Dawn that Nagar highway was a project of great importance which will improve inter-regional connectivity.
Recently, the implementation of all PSDP projects was shifted from the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan to the GB government. This process has helped speed up the implementation of the PSDP projects in the region.
According to a press release, Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid had approved five major projects worth Rs85 billion.
These included Gilgit-Shandur road, Astor valley road, Boban-Shagharthing road, Darel-Tanger expressway and the Nagar highway.
Published in Dawn, February 4th, 2023
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