Building Lives: China-Pakistan co-constructed motorway opens prosperity

Danial Khan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CGTN, July 22, 2022

Qaisar, a 34-year-old Pakistani employee, is an assistant commercial and mechanical engineer on the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) PKM (Sukkur-Multan section) project.

He not only participated in the construction of the largest transportation infrastructure project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the PKM Motorway project, but also became a real beneficiary.

The construction of PKM motorway started on August 5, 2016 and was completed on July 22, 2019, two weeks ahead as planned.

The motorway starts from Sukkur, the transportation hub of Sindh Province in the south, and reaches Multan, the economic center of Punjab Province in the north, opening up the main north to south transportation artery in central Pakistan.

As an engineer on this joint project, Qaisar said that his Chinese colleagues enthusiastically shared their work experience with him and helped him learn professional knowledge.

"I studied in China for five years, and I admired China's development speed and prosperity. China and Pakistan are brothers who have been friendly from generation to generation. I hope they can help us develop rapidly," Qaisar said.

He combined the knowledge learned and his language advantage, and finally played an important role in helping the project resolve difficult works, such as land acquisition and an expropriation issue, finding earth and rock resources.

In Qaisar's hometown, he and his family own more than 160 acres of mango orchards, which are the most important local cash crops and the basis for the survival of hundreds of thousands of fruit farmers.

When it comes to harvest season, fruit farmers used to transport mangoes to Karachi with trucks, a southern port city 900 kilometers away, for sale.

Before the construction of the PKM motorway, mangoes could not be shipped out in large scale when they were ripe, and the farmers could only watch it rot on the ground.

But with the opening of the PKM motorway, "now very easily can we transport our mangoes from our villages to big cities," said Qaisar.

As the first motorway with an intelligent transportation system in Pakistan, all functions of the PKM project, such as the toll collection system and signal management have been fully digitized and automated.

Muhammad Naseem Arif, the general manager of the PKM project from the National Highway Authority of Pakistan, said that they've learned a lot of modern techniques from China's construction team.

"We should continue this process of learning and achieving excellence in this industry," he said.

Alongside the 392-kilometer-long concrete, modernized motorway, a total of 335,800 trees are planted. The green area on both sides of the road is equivalent to 775 football fields, bringing vitality to this arid and barren saline-alkali land.

The CSCEC established collaboration with Pakistan in 1984, with the completion of numerous landmark projects including the JF-17 fighter jet manufacturing factory, Islamabad New International Airport Terminal building and the PKM motorway.

While carrying out business in the local area, CSCEC also carried out public welfare activities such as digging wells and repairing canals, and helping students, boosting local employment through project construction and driving the development of surrounding industries.

The company says it will continue to work hand-in-hand with Pakistan, deepen investment cooperation, and contribute to the prosperity and development of Pakistan, making more contributions for the benefit of Pakistani people.

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