New Tourism Route: Azad Kashmir to Skardu – Pakistan’s Strategic CPEC Route and Roadway Development Project

Pakistan is establishing a third alternate route for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), aimed at reducing the distance to the China border by 350 kilometers. The federal government has allocated 45 million for the Gorikot Astore-Shagharthing Sakardu Road project through Azad Kashmir to Skardu. This new route is envisioned as a Tourism Corridor, connecting Gilgit-Baltistan’s (GB) Shigar, Skardu, and Astor districts to Muzaffarabad after crossing the border at Yarkand, China.

The National Highway Authority (NHA) is actively involved in constructing the Shounter-Rattu road tunnel, spanning 12.7 kilometers. The total length of road corridors from Kel to Shounter and from Shounter to Gorikot is approximately 26.9 kilometers and 41.5 kilometers, respectively. The route will pass through key locations such as Kel, Lower Domel, Dhakki Nakka, Khora, Chitta katha, Upper Domel, Chattian, Shounter in Neelum AJ&K area, and Morcha Guzair, Mirmalik, Rattu, Nasirabad, Chugam, Rehmanpur, and Gorikot in Astore GB area. The project site is approximately 65 kilometers away from Astore, following the route via Neelum Valley to Astore Valley.

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