Well-built roads play an important role in strengthening the tourism industry of a country. Pakistan, in the last few years, has recorded a substantial increase in the number of local and foreign tourists, especially in its northern areas. Realizing the economic potential of these areas, the current government under Prime Minister Imran Khan has taken special measures for developing these areas, including many large-scale infrastructure projects. One such project is the construction of Jaglot to Skardu Road. Minister for Communications and Postal Services Murad Saeed has said the project is expected to be completed by Oct. 30, 2021, and will be opened to the public.
More About Jaglot To Skardu Road
The Jaglot to Skardu Road project features upgradation, improvement, widening and construction. The old road that was used by travellers to reach Skardu was dangerous and required skilled drivers such as locals because of the sharp turns and narrow passages. Due to the bad conditions of the road, tourists either preferred travelling to Skardu by air or visited other areas in the north if they were travelling by road.
Jaglot to Skardu Road was first constructed in 1984 by Frontier Works Organization (FWO) but due to frequent landslides and heavy snowfall that the area experiences every year the road was damaged vastly. Considering people’s interest in visiting Skardu, traffic on the route and ratio of fatal accidents every year, upgradation and widening of road was highly important to provide a safe passage for people to tourists.
Considering this route will be a popular one, since it’s a tourist hotspot, Jaglot to Skardu Road has been increased in width from 3.6 meters to 7.3 meters. This will allow a better and smooth flow of traffic on the road. Moreover, the time it took to reach Skardu from Gilgit was about 10 hours, which will now be reduced to four hours.
Importance Of Jaglot To Skardu Road
The road from Jaglot to Skardu is a patch of more than 160 kilometres which connects Gilgit and Skardu, both of which are important cities in Gilgit Baltistan. The route is not only significant for the development of the tourism industry in Pakistan but also used by armed forces to reach the borders of Kargil, Batalik, Chourbat and Siachin. This will reduce the distance significantly for them too to reach the borders.
Another benefit of improving the road from Jaglot to Skardu is that this route is a major link between Karakoram Highway (KKH) and Skardu. A few years back, Gilgit Baltistan received a significant position in terms of boosting economic activities due to the development of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The CPEC route has become the guarantor of the region’s development in terms of infrastructure, economic activity and tourism.
Importance Of Gilgit Baltistan In Light Of Tourism
A large number of tourists visit Gilgit Baltistan every year because of its highly popular areas such as Naltar Valley, Gilgit and Hunza among various other cities. The province is home to various beautiful areas, mountains and meadows which are frequently visited by local as well as international tourists. In the past few years, tourists have started going and exploring areas farther than Naran because of the extensive road network that has been developed by the government of Pakistan.
Karakoram Highway (KKH) was developed a few years ago and it has paved the way for tourists to touch Khunjerab Pass. It is the highest paved international border crossing in the world between Pakistan and China and also the highest point of the Karakoram Highway. KKH is dubbed as the 8th wonder of the world which stretches across miles of valleys, waterfalls, and mountains.
KKH traces the ancient Silk Route which connected China to the Indian Subcontinent and is an important trade route even today. The road is 1,300 kilometres long out of which the Pakistani section is 806 kilometres long and is accessible throughout the year except for a few parts which are covered in winters due to heavy snowfall. It starts from Hassan Abdal in the Attock district of Punjab and ends at the Pak-China border.
Other Projects Under Construction
While the National Highway Authority (NHA) is working on completing Jaglot to Skardu Road, there are other projects, too, in the pipeline to improve road infrastructure for better connectivity. Three projects in Chitral are also being planned and will be launched by the end of the year. These projects will help develop more tourism sites and improve facilities in the northern areas of Pakistan.
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