Lowari Tunnel is situated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It is 8.5 kilometers (6.5 mi) under the Lowari Pass of the Hindu Kush Mountains.
Lowari Tunnel carries traffic on N45-National Highway, thus bypassing Lowari Pass. The tunnel is one of the longest tunnels in South Asia, and is the longest in Pakistan.
The total cost of this tunnel was approximately ₨26.954 billion (US$170 million). The tunnel is superseding the 3.91 km (2.43 mi) Khojak Tunnel. It is partly completed in July 2017. The tunnel was ready to open for vehicles by late 2018.
In September 1975, it is constructed as railway tunnel. Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto inagurated it. Later, in 1976 it’s construction was stopped due to insufficient funds. It’s construction was resumed in September 2005. It is also converted into a two way tunnel.
During the era of Pervez Musharraf this projects was initiated in 2005. But, later on construction is stopped due to funding, changes in design and security issues.
The project is restarted in 2013 and finally completed in 2017. Nawaz sharif finally inagurated it on 20th July, 2017.
Number of Lanes
The Lowari tunnel has 2 lanes. The length of lane 1 is 1: 8.5 kilometers (5.3 mi) and length of lane 2 is
2: 1.9 kilometers (1.2 mi).
The height of tunnels are around 7000 feet above sea level. The road towards the tunnel is track up to more than 10,000 feet above sea level. It gives beautiful view of both sides of Chitral with snow covered peaks.
The road is not extremely dangerous now. But some risk still remains the same, as some landslides still occur and need clearing. In 2020 February, more than 5 km of road was either under construction of under landslides.