THE EASTERN, WESTERN AND CENTRAL ROUTE OF CHINA PAKISTAN ECONOMIC CORRIDOR by Khuram Shahzad

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China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) has Eastern route, Western route and Central route. Western route is the original and shortest route of China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC). Mostly it passes through the hilly areas of Balochistan and then passes through KPK.

Eastern Route:

Eastern route which starts from Gwadar runs parallel to Makran Coastal highway to reach Karachi. Then it passes through the major cities of Sindh like Hyderabad, Mir Purkhas and Sukkar. In Punjab Multan, Faisal Abad, Lahore to reach Rawalpindi-Islamabad it enters in to KPK and passes through Haripur, Abbotabad and Mansehra districts. Then finally it passes through Muzaffarabad of AJK to reach Khunjrab by passing through Gilgit Baltistan. This route is longer as compare to Western route but it is much safer than western route.

Karachi-Lahore Motorway 1152 km long with 6 lanes pass through Hyderabad, Sukkar, Multan, Faisalabad and reach Lahore. Estimated cost is $6.64 billion.

Sukkar – Multan Motorway M5, 392 km long, estimated cost $2.89 billion with 6 lanes.

Multan-Faisalabad Motorway 233 km long with 4 lanes.

Although eastern route is longer than western route but this route passes from many industrial and commercial cities of Pakistan. It is estimated than eastern route is 680 km long than that of western route and it is connected from Karachi to Lahore by motorways.

The work on Sukkar to Multan motorways is in progress and it is estimated that it will be completed by the end of 2018.

Western Route:

Western route starts from Gwadar and passes through Turbat, Pnajgur, Khuzdar, Kalat, Quetta, Zhob, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu, Kohat, Peshawar, Hassanabdal and Abbotabad from Abbotabad the further route is the same with eastern route.

. Gwadar – Quetta Expressway N 85, which is 650 km long.

. Halka – Dera Ismail Khan (Brahma Baht) motorway, four lane, 280 km long. Upgradation between Quetta-Zhob and between Zhob-Dera Ismail Khan

. Hazara-Havelian Thakot Motorway 180 km.

. Gilgit-Skardu (S-1) 167 km.

. Sari Gambila- Kohat Highway 128 km long, estimated cost 30 billion rupees with 4 lanes.

The western route is the original route of CPEC. It is the shortest route of 2442 km than eastern route which is more than 3000 km. But it is a fact that western route passes through hilly areas of KPK and Balochistan which is difficult to travel. It is also a fact that western route is not being constructed by the fund of CPEC. It is purely constructed by the financial assistance of Federal Government of Pakistan. China was not agreed on western route of CPEC because of the security situation of KPK and Balochistan. At first Federal Government of Pakistan deferred this project but after the strong protest of the nationalist parties and provincial government of KPK and Balochistan Government decided to construct western route along with eastern route.

The work on the link roads is in progress which connects the major cities of Pakistan to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Karachi-Lahore Motorway of 6 lanes a length of 1152 km long, will be constructed. First phase of the project has been started in November 2015 with initially approximately cost of $1.5 billion. Some part of the Karachi-Lahore Motorway will be constructed with the special assistance of UK (United Kingdom) Government.

On June 21, 2014 Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif ordered to construct a Rail link to connect Pakistan and China amount of $3.69 billion is estimated for its construction, rehabilitation and replacement of track from Karachi to Peshawar.

More than 50 under passes, 500 bridges will be constructed and 438 km rail track will doubled.

A sum of $0.44 billion is reserved for optical fiber cable between Pakistan and China for fast communication of Pakistan with China and rest of the world. More than 85% fund is given by China.

Central Route:

There was also a third route which was called Central route of CPEC. It was as

Gwadar – Turbat – Panjgur – Khuzdar – Ratodero – Kashmore – Rajanpur – Dera Ghazi Khan – Dera Ismail Khan – Bannu – Kohat – Peshawar – Hassan Abdal – Abbotabad and onward.

Government of Pakistan has finally deferred central route and no work is in progress on central route of CPEC. Firstly, it was purposed that in spite of eastern and western route only central route of CPEC should be constructed and the whole country should be connected by central route through link roads. But this plan was not accepted by the stake holders and was deffered.

 

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