CHINA–PAKISTAN km. Three corridors Eastern Alignment, Western

CHINA–PAKISTAN ECONOMIC CORRIDOR (CPEC)The road lengthof China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is 2,442 km. Three corridors EasternAlignment, Western Alignment and Central Alignment have been identified forcargo transport: The term Eastern Alignment of CPEC refers to roadway projectswhich will connect Pakistan’s two big cities, Karachi and Lahore. While, theless developed and more lightly populated provinces Balochistan and KhyberPakhtunkhwa will be connected through the Western Alignment. Finally, theCentral Alignment which will connect Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa andBalochistan.

CPEC,is not only a road, it is well acknowledged project which includes the upgradation of highways, railway lines, much needed new power plants, state ofthe art Gwadar airport, Hospitals, vocational institutes, water reservoirs andthe deepwater port at Gwadar to ease the path for exports and safeconnectivity. In the most hopeful circumstances, CPEC could serve as thegateway for connecting Pakistan to India, Afghanistan, the Central Asianrepublics and even Iran from western China to rest of the world.Notsurprisingly, the project to be highlighted at the forum earlier this month asone of several key deliverables in Pakistan was the biggest in financial termsyet: the USD8.

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2 billion rehabilitation and upgrade of the Karachi-PeshawarRailway Main Line 1 (ML-1), to remove sharp curves to enable speeds of up to140 km/h. Upgrade or construction of nearly 1,000 km of CPEC roads is alsoplanned. STRUCTURED ASSESSMENT AND PLANNINGRoad networks, structured assessment can help to identify road relatedenvironmental risks and trade-offs among possible management actions.

Structured planning can enable the managers to make decisions regarding thedirection of road maintenance and upgrading and the identification of roadsthat can be abandoned. Nielsen et al. (2009) stated that a comprehensiveanalysis is needed to identify the retention of areas without roads to excludethe negative effects of road. These comprehensive analyses will give decisionmakers important information to develop safe road systems in developingcountries that may consider environmental risks. PLANNING AND INMPLEMENTING ACCESS MANAGEMENT  In a comprehensive study Khan (2014) focused on road management in thePakistan, Ferguson et al. (2002) is a different study, which briefly explainsthe techniques and legal mechanisms for managing roads. The both studiesprovide detailed recommendations to prevent from road related concerns. Khan(2014) recommended that NHA can improve its consideration of spatial human usedata during land use planning.

The decision-making process in Khan (2014) iscomplex because road related issues must take into account environmentalobjectives in planning and implementing access management. Nonetheless, theexisting NHA mitigation tools can be used to manage road networks.ROADWAYPROJECTSThe CPEC project envisages majorupgrades and overhauls to Pakistan’s transportation infrastructure. In CPECproject, China announced financing for transportation infrastructure so far;$6.1 billion have been allocated for constructing  roadway projects .

The remainder of funds willbe allocated when the Pakistani government awards contracts for construction ofroad segments still in  planning phase.Total 3 corridors have been identifiedfor cargo transport, the Eastern Alignment though the heavily populatedprovinces of Sindh and Punjab where most industries are located, WesternAlignment through the less developed and more sparsely populated provinces ofKhyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, and future Central Alignment which willpass through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Balochistan.    THEKARAKORAM HIGHWAYThe CPEC projects call forreconstruction and upgrade works on N35, which forms the Pakistani quota ofthe  (KKH). The KKH lengths the 887 kilometerslong distance between the China-Pakistan border and the town of burhan, near Hassan Abdal. At Burhan, the existing M1 motorway will pass across the N35at the Shah Maqsood Interchange.

From there, access onwards to Islamabad andLahore continues as part of the present M1 and M2 motorways. Burhan will alsobe at intersection of the EasternAlignment.At southern end of the N35,work is by now underway to construct a 59 kilometer long,4-lane controlled-accesshighway amidBurhan and Havelian which upon completion willbe officially referred to as the E35 expressway. North of Havelian, thenext 66 kilometresof road will be promoted to a 4-lane dual carriageway between Havelian and Shinkiari. The entire 354 kilometres ofroadway north of Shinkiari and finish in Raikot, near Chilas will be constructed as a 2-lane highway.

Construction onthe first section between Shinkiari and Thakot started in April 2016 jointly with building of theHavelian to Shinkiari 4-lane dual carriageway further south. Construction onboth these units is expected to be completed within 42 months.The Diamer-Bhasha Dam and Dasu Dam. Sections of the N-35 around these planswill be completely modified in tandem with dam construction. In the acting,this section of the N-35 is currently being upgraded from its current stateuntil dam construction commences in full force at a later date. Improvementprojects on this section are likely to be completed by January 2017 at a costof approximately $72 million. The following 335 kilometres ofroadway attach Raikot to the China-Pakistan border. Advancement works on thissection of roadway lead the CPEC, and were started after severe damage toroadways in the area following the 2010 Pakistanfloods.

Mostof this section of roadway was done in September 2012 at a cost of$510 million. A large earthquake rocked the region nearestto the China-Pakistan border in 2010, triggering massive landslides which obstructedthe Indus River, resulting in the formation of the Attabad Lake.Portions of the Karakoram Highway weresubmerged in the lake, forcing all vehicular traffic onto bursts to traversethe new reservoir. Construction on a 24 kilometre series of bridges and tunnels to Attabad Lake began in 2012 and required 36 months forcompletion. The dodge consists of 2 large bridges and 5 kilometres worth oftunnels 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 a4-lane road at a cost of $475 million to provide direct access to Skardufrom the N-35. EASTERNALIGNMENTThe word Eastern Alignmentof CPEC mentions to roadway projects located in Sindh and Punjab provinces  some ofwhich were first intended in 1991.

As part of the Eastern Placement, a1,152 km long motorway will connect Pakistan’s two largest cities, Karachiand Lahore with 4 to 6-lane controlled access highway designed for travel speedinessup to 120 kilometres per hour. The whole project will cost approximately$6.6 billion, with the bulk of financing to be distributed by variousChinese state-owned banks. The whole Eastern Alignment motorway project is separatedinto four sections,a 136 kilometer long section between Karachi and Hyderabad likewiserecognized as the M9 motorway, a 296 kilometre long section amid Hyderabadand Sukkur, a 387 kilometre long unit between Sukkur andMultan, anda 333 kilometer section between Multan and Lahore via the city of Abdul Hakeem.

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

The project will require the construction ofseven interchanges, and 25 bridges on the Indus river and irrigation canals.The planned route of the motorway runs roughly parallel to the existingNational Highway and Indus Highway at various portions. In July 2016, the Pakistanigovernment announced that the project would be open to international bidders ona build-operate-transferbasis, withChinese and South Korean companies expressing interest in the project. The392 kilometre Sukkur to Multansection ofthe motorway is projected to cost $2.89 billion, with building worksinaugurated on this section of roadway on May 6, 2016. The road will be a sixlane wide precise access highway, with 11 planned exchanges, 10 restfacilities, 492 underpasses, and 54 bridges along its way. The Pakistanigovernment in January 2016 gave the contact to build this section to ChinaState Construction Engineering, but final endorsements compulsory for paymentof funds were not settled by the Government of the People’s Republic of Chinauntil May 2016.

90% of the project’s cost is to be financed by concessionaryloans from China, with the remaining 10% to be financed by the government ofPakistan. Construction on this segment is expected to last 36 months. Construction of the portion betweenMultan and Lahore costing approximately $1.5 billion was launched inNovember 2015 as a joint venture.The percentage of motorway between AbdulHakeem and Lahore that is in construction as part of CPEC will consist of the lasting231 kilometers.

WESTERNALIGNMENTThe Western Alignmentproject will result in the upgrading of numerous hundred kilometres value ofroad into 2 and 4-lane alienated highways by mid-2018, with land attainment satisfactoryfor 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 inBalochistan province unaccompanied as part of the Western Alignment. Of those870 kilometres of road, 620 kilometres have already been reconstructed as ofJanuary 2016. The Western Position roadway grid will beginat the Barahma Bahtar Interchange on the M1 Motorway near the cities of Burhan and Hasan Abdal in northern Punjab state. The newly rebuiltKarakoram Highway will connect to the Western Alignment at Burhan, close wherethe new 285-kilometre-long precise-access BrahmaBahtar-Yarik Motorway will begin. The motorway will terminate near the town ofYarik, just north of Dera Ismail Khan. Groundbreaking for the project took placeon May 17, 2016.

The motorway will traverse the Sindh Sagar Doab region, and cross the Indus River at Mianwali before entering into Khyber Pakhtunkhwaprovince. It will consist of 11 interchanges, 74 culverts, and 3 major bridgesspanning 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-Yarikmotorway, the N50 NationalHighway willalso be upgraded between Dera Ismail Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Zhob in neighbouringBalochistan province, with ultimate reconstruction amid Zhob and Quetta.

The elevatedroadway will comprise of a 4 lane dual-carriageway straddling the 205 kilometre distanceamid the two cities. The first slice of the N50 to be upgraded will be the 81 kilometre portionof the N50 between Zhob and Mughal Kot, with building works having initiated inJanuary 2016. Building on this portion is likely to be finished by 2018 at acost of $86 million.While the project is measured a vital link inthe CPEC’s Western Alignment, the project’s cost will not be financed byChinese state-owned banks, but in its place by Asian Development Bank under a2014 contract which headed CPEC, as well as by a funding delivered by theUnited Kingdom’s Departmentfor International Development. Direction south from Quetta, the WesternAlignment of the CPEC will continue to the town of Surab in dominant Balochistan as the N25 NationalHighway.

FromSurab, a 470 kilometrelong course known as the N85 NationalHighway willconnect dominant Balochistan with the town of Hoshab in southwesternBalochistan province near the city of Turbat. The section of road between these cities was completedin December 2016, as per timetable. Beside the Western Alignment route, the townsof Hoshab and Gwadar are connected by a newly-built 193 kilometre long share ofthe M8 Motorway – the Hoshab to Gwadar shareof the motorway was completed and invested in February 2016 by Prime MinisterNawaz Sharif. The Western Alignment will be lined by special economic regionsalong its route, with at least seven special economic zones scheduled to beestablished in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

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