Accueil
Envoyer à un ami
Imprimer
Grand
Petit
Partager
English News

Belt and Road initiative benefits Pakistan’s infrastructure


Alwihda Info | Par peoplesdaily - 12 Mai 2017

Chinese President Xi Jinping, during his visit to Pakistan in April, 2015, witnessed the signing of a framework agreement to build the orange line of the rapid mass transit system in Punjab's provincial capital of Lahore, along with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.


By Yang Xun, Meng Xianglin, Huan Xiang and Xu Wei from People’s Daily

Pic: Chinese and Pakistani workers make concrete sleepers for the Lahore orange line metro project. (By Meng Xianglin from People’s Daily)
Pic: Chinese and Pakistani workers make concrete sleepers for the Lahore orange line metro project. (By Meng Xianglin from People’s Daily)
Pakistan’s infrastructure has been greatly improved thanks to its cooperation with China under the Belt and Road initiative. Both the China-aided Karakoram Highway (KKH), the only land route connecting China and Pakistan, and Orange Line metro project in Lahore, the second largest city in Pakistan, are evidence of such improvement.

Passing through the precipitous Karakoram Mountains, the KKH is one of the highest roads in the world, built in the 1960s to 1970s by arduous work of Pakistani and Chinese constructors. In the eyes of Pakistani people, the project is regarded as the Eighth Wonder of the World.

In a bid to further improve the traffic situation of the Central Asian nation, a renovation and upgrade project for the KKH was launched by the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) in September 2016.

The 120-kilometer project, which links Havelian and Thakot, is expected to be completed by 2020, Zhu Jiangfan, the project manager, told the People’s Daily.

Bottlenecked by funds and equipment, Pakistan has seen many of its road projects stopped halfway in the past.

Ahmad, a road constructor, said that his uncle is a long distance freight driver, who has had enough of the bumpy road since vegetables, cakes and other food he transports are often damaged after delivery.

“We expect an early completion of the road since it will shorten transportation times, lower costs and bring more convenience to our daily lives,” Ahmad added.

Pakistan will also say goodbye to the days without subways and light rail thanks to China’s assistance.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, during his visit to Pakistan in April, 2015, witnessed the signing of a framework agreement to build the orange line of the rapid mass transit system in Punjab's provincial capital of Lahore, along with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The system, the first large rail transit project within the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, was contracted by a consortium composed of China Railway Corporation and China North Industries Corporation.

Describing the orange as a color representing vigor, Sarwar, an official with Punjab provincial government, said that the Belt and Road initiative has injected vitality into Lahore, which is an ancient city, as well as the whole of Pakistan.
The metro project will be built in accordance with the same quality requirements for the high-speed railway linking Beijing and Shanghai, said project manager Wang Feng, adding that the train will be extremely smooth.

The 26-kilometer line will have 26 stations, two of which will be underground. The total $1.6 billion investment of the project will be financed through the loans provided by the Export-Import Bank of China. Adopting Chinese standards, the project will use China-made metro cars and mechatronic systems as well.

A lot of engineering and technical workers from both countries are now working in the forefront of the orange line project that carries the expectation of the Pakistani public, a general manager with the Punjab Transportation Department said.

“We believe that the orange line project will definitely be a complete success,” the manager stressed.

Pakistan’s sluggish telecommunications industry has also been bolstered because of the bilateral friendship.

In the past, remote areas of the country did not have stable communication signals, but thanks to the efforts of CMPak, a subsidiary of China Mobile, the situation has greatly improved, local residents told the People’s Daily.

China Mobile has grown into the country’s third largest telecommunications operator since it entered the market in 2007, said Wang Haibo, vice general manager with CMPak, explaining that its customers have surpassed 28 million from less than 1 million at the beginning.

The number of its 4G users, standing at 2.4 million, tops the whole country, said Wang, adding that the company has extended its base stations to all Pakistani cities with a 10,000-plus population.

Localization was given top priority by CMPak during its operations in Pakistan. Besides the 21 management and expert personnel sent from China, the rest of its employees are local residents. So far, it has created 3,200 direct jobs and more than 50,000 indirect positions.

“The company offers training and lectures to the employees, from which my colleagues and I have learned a lot of practical skills,” said Martin, a customer service employee with CMPak.

Thanks to the high-quality local workers, the number of Pakistani customers of China Mobile is increasing, Martin said, adding that they feel proud and happy to work there.