CPEC improves local infrastructure, people’s life : Report

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BEIJING, April 23 (APP): Local residents in Pakistan are
witnessing significant changes in their live, two years after
the launch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) programme.
The project, a key element of the Chinese government’s ‘Belt
and Road Initiative’, was officially launched in 2015 during
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan, according to a
report broadcast by China Radio International (CRI) here.
The multi-billion US dollar plan includes building up
infrastructure along a route linking the city of Kashgar
in Xinjiang, China to the southwestern Pakistani port Gwadar.
Muhammad Nisar Khan, general manager of a section of the
CPEC project, said the building boom underway along the route,
has created a lot of opportunities.
“The locals are being skilled with construction of these mega
projects, with respect to construction of bridges, tunnels, and
other protection establishments involved in these projects, so
we are seeing a lot of things being transferred from the Chinese,
which goes in the benefits of this nation,” said Nisar.
A 50-year old Bashir Ahmed who is a security guard at the
port of Gwadar suggested the construction at the port to
accommodate the CPEC programme, has also created opportunities
for his five children.
“My Chinese friends work very hard. They helped us build a
good primary school. Our children all study there. They also
helped us build homes to improve our living conditions. Now
many engineering projects are under construction. The Chinese
Overseas Port Company works very fast. And every project,
including the construction of the free zone is making fast
progress. Hope other problems can be solved rapidly here,”
Bashir said.
Construction at the Port of Gwadar includes expanding it
to accommodate a free-trade zone, which is expected to be
operational in 2030.
Apart from the work being done at Gwadar, the Chinese
firms are working on expanding and refurbishing the 1300
kilometer long Karakoram Highway, the highest paved
international road in the world, which connects China and
Pakistan across the Karakoram Mountains.
The highway project is being led by the China Road and
Bridge Corporation.
The project has not only improved local traffic conditions
but also created around 25-hundred jobs for locals along
the route.
“I’m working here and getting very good experience. I
have learned a lot since I came here. Now I can operate
the main machines, learn cutting and welding. And also I
can operate crane,” said a worker at the construction site.
“The construction of the highway makes us not afraid to
go out anymore. In the past, when we traveled to other
cities, we always faced traffic problems. We worried about
landslide that would cause deaths, traffic jam. Sometimes,
it took us more than one week to reach the destination.
When the road is completed, we will be able to reach there
in only several hours,” said another.
The Economic Corridor project is also said to be helping
increase security in the region, as the Pakistani military
has deployed numerous resources along the route to protect
the workers and infrastructure they’re building.