Federal government mulls construction of strategic tunnel at the Babusar Top

Federal government mulls construction of strategic tunnel at the Babusar Top

ISLAMABAD - The government keeping in view the tourism potential will start work on the Babusar Top tunnel connecting Kaghan Valley with Chilas Gilgit Baltistan during next financial year.

“The funds will be allocated in the next Public Sector Development Programme for the construction of Babusar Top tunnel to facilitate the tourists as well as the local,” senior official of the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan told APP.

The Babusar Pass will be made all-weather by constructing an underground tunnel to make the transit route travel worthy during critical winter season, he said.

To a question he said other than improved and better connectivity in the region Industrial and Economic Zones would be established in Gilgit-Baltistan under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project to uplift the area and bring it at par with developed parts of the country.

Due to tax exemptions, the zones would be more beneficial for the entire country especially locals, he said adding the federal government was determined to remove the 72 years deprivation of the local people.

To a question, he said despite financial crunch, Gilgit Baltistan had been provided development funds. Commenting on new water reservoirs, he expressed his hope that Diamer-Bhasha Dam would bring prosperity in the area.

Besides, the government had allocated Rs400 million for construction of 250-bed hospital in Skardu to provide best healthcare facilities to local people. He said that 50-bed cardiac hospital Phase-I was under construction at Gilgit Baltistan with the cost of Rs1.5 billion.

Moreover, he said Rs300 million had been allocated in the current Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for completion of the cardiac hospital in Gilgit Baltistan.