National Logistics Cell (NLC) has kick-started work on one of the most important road projects in the northern areas of Pakistan that would serve as an alternative to the strategic Karakoram Highway besides linking the pristine valleys in the region.
The CPEC standard road will prove to be a game-changer for the growing tourism industry of Pakistan bringing marked improvement in the living standards of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.
NLC will construct 76 kilometer portion of the Gilgit-Shandur Road under a challenging environment including inaccessibility of the area, high altitude, inhospitable weather conditions, and precipitous mountain formations.
NLC has already mobilized machinery and equipment besides the establishment of a camp with requisite facilities of modern engineering. The work has been commenced at the Shandur end of the project with an aim to facilitate tourists who thronged the area during the annual festival.
What makes the project a daunting engineering task is the short weather window to undertake construction work. The threat of rock and landslides looms large during construction work as well as heavy snow and rainfall. Located over 12,500 feet above sea level, the weather opens up for just four months in a year.
The road has been upgraded from a provincial to a national highway that will bring these remote valleys at par with other developed areas of Gilgit-Baltistan. Travel time between Gilgit and Shandur valley will be reduced from 7 hours to 4 hours only.