Despite pandemic of Covid-19 , work on CPEC projects continues in full swing



BY KASWAR KLASRA


ISLAMABAD: The pandemic of Covid-19 has dealt a heavy blow to construction and engineering projects around the world. Many projects have stopped. While most of the companies have cut jobs, which resulted in slowing pace of work.

However, the pandemic of Covid-19 couldn’t even slow pace of work on various projects under Pakistan China Economic Corridor, a multi-billion-dollar project which is part of China’s Belt and Road initiative.

Pakistani authorities made it loud last month that different projects under CPEC were on the way to completion. Even a few, they said, were ahead of time.

The 292-km long mega Western Corridor project will help usher an era of economic prosperity in some of the country’s most underdeveloped regions, officials said Sunday. However, they didn’t mention the projects which were expected to complete before time.

Pakistani authorities said last week that work of Western route of CPEC was in full swing and that a four-lane expressway from Hakla near Islamabad to Dera Ismail Khan in Khyber Pakhtoonkhaw was expected to complete by next year which will reduce travel time between Dera Ismail Khan and Islamabad by half (from five hours to two and half hours).

Lt-Gen (R) Asim Saleem Bajwa, Chairman of China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and broadcasting, told local media last month that Construction companies have completed 69 percent of work on Hakla-Dera Ismail Khan, a key leg of the Rs 212 billion ( USD 1.3 $) worth China Pakistan Economic Corridor project known as Western route of CPEC.

“Hakla (near Islamabad) to DI Khan 4 lane Motorway (292.5 KMs) construction in full swing. 69% work completed. Travel time will reduce from 5 hours to 2.5 hours,” Lt-General (R) tweeted last month.

Documents seen by this correspondent revealed that a four-lane expressway from Hakla near Islamabad to Dera Ismail Khan will reduce travel time between Dera Ismail Khan and Islamabad from five hours to two and half hours.

Experts believe, The 292-km long Western route of CPEC will help usher an era of economic prosperity in some of the country’s most underdeveloped regions of Pakistan.

Pakistan has made sure, pandemic of Covid-19 does not slow work on projects under CPEC.

Pakistani authorities told this correspondent that work on 874 MW Suki Kinari-KP Hydel Power Project was in full swing as fifty percent of total work has been done by the company.

“ CPEC is a priority. We have made sure, pandemic of Covid-19 doesn’t affect progress on projects under CPEC,” a senior Pakistani official told this correspondent.

Official also said that work on 874 MW Suki Kinari KP Hydal Power project was in full swing.

“Unaffected by COVID-19, 50% fifty percent work on Suki Kinari Hydal Power Project has completed. At Kunhar River,with an investment of $ 1.963 billion has created 4250 jobs. Bringing cost of electricity down is top priority,” Lt-General Asim Bajwa Tweeted last month.


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