Muzaffarabad: (Azadi Times) The Pakistani federal government has unveiled an ambitious project to boost tourism by creating a new route from Azad Kashmir to Gilgit Baltistan via a 12.7-kilometer tunnel.
This marks the country’s third alternative route under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), significantly reducing the distance to China’s border by 350 kilometers.
The Pakistan Federal government has allocated 45 million for the construction of the Gori Kot Astor Road project, spanning from Gori Kot to Shigar via Skardu.
This new tourism corridor will connect Yarkand in China, as well as the districts of Shigar, Skardu, and Astor to Muzaffarabad.
The Pakistan National Highway Authority (NHA) is currently working on the construction of the Shounter-Ratu tunnel, measuring approximately 12.7 kilometers. The lengths of the Kel-to-Shounter and Shounter-to-Gori Kot roads are roughly 26.9 kilometers and 41.5 kilometers, respectively.
This corridor will traverse through various regions, including Kel, Lower Domel, Dhaki Naka, Khora, Chitta Katha, Upper Domel, and Chittyan in the Neelum Valley of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, connecting Shounter and Astor in Gilgit-Baltistan to Murcha Guzar, Mir Malik, Ratu, Nasirabad, Chogam, Rahmanpur, and Gori Kot. The project site is approximately 65 kilometers away from Skardu. The route spans from Neelum Valley to Astor Valley.