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CHINA–PAKISTAN Three corridors Eastern Alignment, Western Alignment and

CHINA–PAKISTAN ECONOMIC CORRIDOR (CPEC)

The road length
of China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is 2,442 km. Three corridors Eastern
Alignment, Western Alignment and Central Alignment have been identified for
cargo transport: The term Eastern Alignment of CPEC refers to roadway projects
which will connect Pakistan’s two big cities, Karachi and Lahore. While, the
less developed and more lightly populated provinces Balochistan and Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa will be connected through the Western Alignment. Finally, the
Central Alignment which will connect Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and
Balochistan.

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CPEC,
is not only a road, it is well acknowledged project which includes the up
gradation of highways, railway lines, much needed new power plants, state of
the art Gwadar airport, Hospitals, vocational institutes, water reservoirs and
the deepwater port at Gwadar to ease the path for exports and safe
connectivity. In the most hopeful circumstances, CPEC could serve as the
gateway for connecting Pakistan to India, Afghanistan, the Central Asian
republics and even Iran from western China to rest of the world.

Not
surprisingly, the project to be highlighted at the forum earlier this month as
one of several key deliverables in Pakistan was the biggest in financial terms
yet: the USD8.2 billion rehabilitation and upgrade of the Karachi-Peshawar
Railway Main Line 1 (ML-1), to remove sharp curves to enable speeds of up to
140 km/h. Upgrade or construction of nearly 1,000 km of CPEC roads is also
planned.

 

STRUCTURED ASSESSMENT AND PLANNING

Road networks, structured assessment can help to identify road related
environmental risks and trade-offs among possible management actions.
Structured planning can enable the managers to make decisions regarding the
direction of road maintenance and upgrading and the identification of roads
that can be abandoned. Nielsen et al. (2009) stated that a comprehensive
analysis is needed to identify the retention of areas without roads to exclude
the negative effects of road. These comprehensive analyses will give decision
makers important information to develop safe road systems in developing
countries that may consider environmental risks.

 

PLANNING AND INMPLEMENTING ACCESS

MANAGEMENT

 

In a comprehensive study Khan (2014) focused on road management in the
Pakistan, Ferguson et al. (2002) is a different study, which briefly explains
the techniques and legal mechanisms for managing roads. The both studies
provide detailed recommendations to prevent from road related concerns. Khan
(2014) recommended that NHA can improve its consideration of spatial human use
data during land use planning. The decision-making process in Khan (2014) is
complex because road related issues must take into account environmental
objectives in planning and implementing access management. Nonetheless, the
existing NHA mitigation tools can be used to manage road networks.

ROADWAY
PROJECTS

The CPEC project envisages major
upgrades and overhauls to Pakistan’s transportation infrastructure. In CPEC
project, China announced financing for transportation infrastructure so far;
$6.1 billion have been allocated for constructing  roadway projects . The remainder of funds will
be allocated when the Pakistani government awards contracts for construction of
road segments still in  planning phase.

Total 3 corridors have been identified
for cargo transport, the Eastern Alignment though the heavily populated
provinces of Sindh and Punjab where most industries are located, Western
Alignment through the less developed and more sparsely populated provinces of
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, and future Central Alignment which will
pass through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Balochistan.

 

 

 

 

THE
KARAKORAM HIGHWAY

The CPEC projects call for
reconstruction and upgrade works on N35, which forms the Pakistani quota of
the  (KKH). The KKH lengths the 887 kilometers
long distance between the China-Pakistan border and the town of burhan, near Hassan Abdal. At Burhan, the existing M1 motorway will pass across the N35
at the Shah Maqsood Interchange. From there, access onwards to Islamabad and
Lahore continues as part of the present M1 and M2 motorways. Burhan will also
be at intersection of the Eastern
Alignment.

At southern end of the N35,
work is by now underway to construct a 59 kilometer long,
4-lane controlled-access
highway amid
Burhan and Havelian which upon completion will
be officially referred to as the E35 expressway. North of Havelian, the
next 66 kilometres
of road will be promoted to a 4-lane dual carriageway between Havelian and Shinkiari. The entire 354 kilometres of
roadway north of Shinkiari and finish in Raikot, near Chilas will be constructed as a 2-lane highway. Construction on
the first section between Shinkiari and Thakot started in April 2016 jointly with building of the
Havelian to Shinkiari 4-lane dual carriageway further south. Construction on
both these units is expected to be completed within 42 months.The Diamer-Bhasha Dam and Dasu Dam. Sections of the N-35 around these plans
will be completely modified in tandem with dam construction. In the acting,
this section of the N-35 is currently being upgraded from its current state
until dam construction commences in full force at a later date. Improvement
projects on this section are likely to be completed by January 2017 at a cost
of approximately $72 million. The following 335 kilometres of
roadway attach Raikot to the China-Pakistan border. Advancement works on this
section of roadway lead the CPEC, and were started after severe damage to
roadways in the area following the 2010 Pakistan
floods. Most
of this section of roadway was done in September 2012 at a cost of
$510 million.

A large earthquake rocked the region nearest
to the China-Pakistan border in 2010, triggering massive landslides which obstructed
the Indus River, resulting in the formation of the Attabad Lake.Portions of the Karakoram Highway were
submerged in the lake, forcing all vehicular traffic onto bursts to traverse
the new reservoir. Construction on a 24 kilometre series of bridges and tunnels to Attabad Lake began in 2012 and required 36 months for
completion. The dodge consists of 2 large bridges and 5 kilometres worth of
tunnels that were inaugurated for public use on 14 September 2015 at a cost of
$275 million. The 175 kilometre road between Gilgit and Skardu will be advanced to a
4-lane road at a cost of $475 million to provide direct access to Skardu
from the N-35.

EASTERN
ALIGNMENT

The word Eastern Alignment
of CPEC mentions to roadway projects located in Sindh and Punjab provinces  some of
which were first intended in 1991. As part of the Eastern Placement, a
1,152 km long motorway will connect Pakistan’s two largest cities, Karachi
and Lahore with 4 to 6-lane controlled access highway designed for travel speediness
up to 120 kilometres per hour. The whole project will cost approximately
$6.6 billion, with the bulk of financing to be distributed by various
Chinese state-owned banks. The whole Eastern Alignment motorway project is separated
into four sections,a 136 kilometer long section between Karachi and Hyderabad likewise
recognized as the M9 motorway, a 296 kilometre long section amid Hyderabad
and Sukkur, a 387 kilometre long unit between Sukkur and
Multan, and
a 333 kilometer section between Multan and Lahore via the city of Abdul Hakeem.

The major section of the project will deliver
high speed road admittance from the Port of Karachi to the city of Hyderabad
and inner Sindh. In February 2017, a finished 75 kilometre stretch of the
motorway was unwrapped for public use by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. At the terminal
of the M9 motorway in Hyderabad, the Karachi-Lahore Motorway will endure headlong
to Sukkur as a six lane controlled-access motorway recognized also as M6 motorway that will be 296
kilometers long, The planned cost for this project is $1.7 billion, and will deliver
high speed road access to interior Sindh – especially near the towns of Matiari, Nawabshah, and Khairpur.

The project will require the construction of
seven interchanges, and 25 bridges on the Indus river and irrigation canals.
The planned route of the motorway runs roughly parallel to the existing
National Highway and Indus Highway at various portions. In July 2016, the Pakistani
government announced that the project would be open to international bidders on
a build-operate-transfer
basis, with
Chinese and South Korean companies expressing interest in the project. The
392 kilometre Sukkur to Multan
section of
the motorway is projected to cost $2.89 billion, with building works
inaugurated on this section of roadway on May 6, 2016. The road will be a six
lane wide precise access highway, with 11 planned exchanges, 10 rest
facilities, 492 underpasses, and 54 bridges along its way. The Pakistani
government in January 2016 gave the contact to build this section to China
State Construction Engineering, but final endorsements compulsory for payment
of funds were not settled by the Government of the People’s Republic of China
until May 2016. 90% of the project’s cost is to be financed by concessionary
loans from China, with the remaining 10% to be financed by the government of
Pakistan. Construction on this segment is expected to last 36 months.

Construction of the portion between
Multan and Lahore costing approximately $1.5 billion was launched in
November 2015 as a joint venture.The percentage of motorway between Abdul
Hakeem and Lahore that is in construction as part of CPEC will consist of the lasting
231 kilometers.

WESTERN
ALIGNMENT

The Western Alignment
project will result in the upgrading of numerous hundred kilometres value of
road into 2 and 4-lane alienated highways by mid-2018, with land attainment satisfactory
for upgrading parts of the road to a 6-lane motorway in the future. In full,
the CPEC project envisions re-construction of 870 kilometres of road in
Balochistan province unaccompanied as part of the Western Alignment. Of those
870 kilometres of road, 620 kilometres have already been reconstructed as of
January 2016.

The Western Position roadway grid will begin
at the Barahma Bahtar Interchange on the M1 Motorway near the cities of Burhan and Hasan Abdal in northern Punjab state. The newly rebuilt
Karakoram Highway will connect to the Western Alignment at Burhan, close where
the new 285-kilometre-long precise-access Brahma
Bahtar-Yarik Motorway will begin. The motorway will terminate near the town of
Yarik, just north of Dera Ismail Khan. Groundbreaking for the project took place
on May 17, 2016. The motorway will traverse the Sindh Sagar Doab region, and cross the Indus River at Mianwali before entering into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
province. It will consist of 11 interchanges, 74 culverts, and 3 major bridges
spanning the Indus, Soan, and Kurram Rivers. Total costs for the project are expected to be
$1.05 billion. At the southern terminus of the new Brahma Bahtar-Yarik
motorway, the N50 National
Highway will
also be upgraded between Dera Ismail Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Zhob in neighbouring
Balochistan province, with ultimate reconstruction amid Zhob and Quetta. The elevated
roadway will comprise of a 4 lane dual-carriageway straddling the 205 kilometre distance
amid the two cities. The first slice of the N50 to be upgraded will be the 81 kilometre portion
of the N50 between Zhob and Mughal Kot, with building works having initiated in
January 2016. Building on this portion is likely to be finished by 2018 at a
cost of $86 million.

While the project is measured a vital link in
the CPEC’s Western Alignment, the project’s cost will not be financed by
Chinese state-owned banks, but in its place by Asian Development Bank under a
2014 contract which headed CPEC, as well as by a funding delivered by the
United Kingdom’s Department
for International Development. Direction south from Quetta, the Western
Alignment of the CPEC will continue to the town of Surab in dominant Balochistan as the N25 National
Highway. From
Surab, a 470 kilometre
long course known as the N85 National
Highway will
connect dominant Balochistan with the town of Hoshab in southwestern
Balochistan province near the city of Turbat. The section of road between these cities was completed
in December 2016, as per timetable.

Beside the Western Alignment route, the towns
of Hoshab and Gwadar are connected by a newly-built 193 kilometre long share of
the M8 Motorway – the Hoshab to Gwadar share
of the motorway was completed and invested in February 2016 by Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif. The Western Alignment will be lined by special economic regions
along its route, with at least seven special economic zones scheduled to be
established in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

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