Malakand tunnel to be constructed with Korean loan

The South Korean government has pledged $78 million for construction of the tunnel through the Economic Development Cooperation Fund, an official of National Highway Authority (NHA) told the media on Thursday.

The 9.7 km project includes three bridges and approach roads on both sides of the tunnel. The NHA will build the Malakand tunnel to shorten distance for travellers belonging to Dir, Malakand, Swat and adjacent areas and provide Pakistani goods an easy access to Central Asian states. Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) gave approval of the project in May 2011.

Total cost of the project is Rs9.043 billion. Chunil,a Korean company, prepared the feasibility study for the tunnel, recommending Dargai as the starting point of the tunnel and Batkhela as end point.