Dasu-Railkot section of KKH to be finished in Q1

February 4, 20220

ISLAMABAD – The rehabilitation, improvement and widening of existing Karakoram Highway (KKH) from Dasu to Railkot would be completed in March 2022 as its 50km-long stretch from Chilas to Railkot has already been made functional.

Talking to The Nation, Mukesh Kumar, Member North Zone of the National Highway Authority, said that progress on the is in full swing and it would be completed within its given timeframe of March 2022.

“After completion of this 172km-long project, the KKH from Thakot to Khunjerab would become fully functional as this is the major bottleneck in the way to reach the China border because the road was earlier in a very bad condition,” he added.

He said that NHA is in process to award rehabilitation of the last 8km-long portion of the road in coming days that could not be awarded earlier due to certain reasons.

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The rehabilitation of KKH from Dasu to Railkot is a deposit work of the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and it has provided the funds for the project while NHA is only executing the project on site.

In this project, the existing road has been improved by replacing its sub base and base while the concrete shoulders have also been included in the road. The total cost of the project is Rs2.4 billion, which is borne by WAPDA.

The project is being constructed by the M/s Rustum Associates and Dynamic Constructors (JV), which has gained a positive repute in a very short span of time for constructing roads, especially in hard areas like Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK.

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Earlier, the JV has also developed three projects, funded by the Asian Development Bank that include Rehabilitation of Mansehra to Naran–Jalkhad–Chillas Road, Rehabilitation of National Highways & Bridges Naran-Jalkhad and Rehabilitation of National Highways & Bridges at Naran-Jalkhad of N-15.

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It is pertinent to mention here that KKH is one of the highest paved international roads in the world. Traditionally, the highway known as N-35 that starts from Hassan Abdal and ends at Khunjerab, China border.

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However, now an alternate and fastest route of expressway E-35 commonly known as Hazara Motorway from Burhan Interchange on Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway to Mansehra is also available for motorists.

Earlier, most of the tourists were using Hazara Motorway to reach Mansehra and then taking a diversion on N-15, where famous summer destination Naran is also located, to reach Chilas for their onward journey to GB by avoiding the dilapidated portion of KKH.

However, after completion of the aforementioned project, the tourists could reach GB directly by using KKH from Mansehra after leaving Hazara Motorway as the road condition has substantially improved.

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