Home »Top Stories » CPEC projects to go on despite challenges: Tianru
China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects would continue to link Pakistan with China and allow the smooth flow of goods and humans between the two countries despite challenges of natural disaster and security issues. Talking to media Saturday, Tianru Tang, Managing Director Chinese Exim Company, said that the two major concerns for the construction and maintenance of KKH and Khunjrab Pass were the geological disasters and security conditions. KKH is located in Gilgit-Baltistan where security issues are affecting the construction process.

Tang stated that the situation has hampered the construction process as well as the safety of Chinese personnel; however, he lauded the role of local police and security personnel for maintaining the security of Chinese personnel. While the security situation can be foreseen but the key challenge in construction and maintaining of KKH including the Khunjrab Pass are the natural disasters.

The KKH is the world''s highest cross-boundary road, with bridges over Khunjrab River, Hunza River, Gilgit River and the Indus River, and moves through Karakoram Mountains, Hindukush Mountains, Pamirs Plateau and the western end of Himalayas.

The geological conditions of the area are extremely complex and are frequently hit by natural disasters including avalanches, landslides, rockfalls, landslides, snow covers, ice covers, earthquakes etc. "This area is known as the ''geological disaster museum'' owing to frequent natural disasters," Tang highlighted.

While CPEC is a new programme but the Chinese infrastructure development commenced in Pakistan in 1966 at the Karakoram Highway (KKH) project and since then numerous infrastructure development projects have been initiated by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) - the builder of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The CRBC is involved in various infrastructure development projects in Pakistan including the 118-kms KKH Phase II (Havelian-Thakot) project, which is a key project of ''One Belt One Road strategy.'' The completion of the project is expected to enhance traffic flow in northern region of Pakistan and promote economic development in remote areas of the country.

Due to serious natural disasters such as the collapse of Gilgit Great Bridge in 2008, the extraordinary landslide extending up to three kilometers at K656 of KKH in 2010, clearing of a barrier lake there which submerged a 17-km area of KKH and other damages due to frequent earthquakes, floods and oxygen deficiency have led to deaths of many engineers and construction workers.

Among the significant achievement in maintaining the KKH was clearing it in 2012 after an avalanche buried 150m section of the road and the thickest snow cover was about 20m. A Monument of Martyrs cemetery has been established for the 88 Chinese who died for the construction of a road in Gilgit, including unmarked graves for 20 engineers whose remains were never found.

Tang highlighted during their presence in Pakistan CRBC has employed up to 7,815 locals and purchased main construction material from local firms amounting to $416 million.

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