Kachhi Canal and N-70 Highway Projects to Boost Pakistan's Balochistan

East-West infrastructure projects in Pakistan pose unique challenges. Sending hundreds of cusecs of water up more than a mile from the River Indus to Balochistan via Kachhi canal is one of these challenges. Another challenge is to improve and expand national east-west highways like N-70.  These recently completed infrastructure projects linking South Punjab with Balochistan will  boost agriculture and transportation sectors and bring economic benefits to Pakistanis living in the country's least developed areas.

Kachhi Canal Project: 

Recently completed 400 kilometers in phase 1 of 500 kilometer long Kachhi Canal is now the longest irrigation canal in Pakistan.  It stretches from the plains of South Punjab to the heights of eastern Balochistan where it will eventually irrigate over 700,000 acres of arid land, according to WAPDA (Water and Power Development Authority).

Kachhi Canal Pakistan

Part of Kachhi canal is made up of 56 inch diameter pipeline that will pump 120 cusecs (cubic feet per sec) of Indus water 7,000 feet above sea level across Sulaiman mountain range. This feat of engineering made possible by NESPAK (National Engineering Services of Pakistan), a consulting firm that I worked for 3 years in mid-1970s.

Kachhi Canal Project Phases

National Highway N-70: 

National highway N-70 runs from Multan in Punjab to the town of Qilla Saifullah via Dera Ghazi Khan, and Loralai in Balochistan province.  It requires traversing 11,500 feet high Sulaiman mountains, the southern extension of Hindu Kush mountain range. It has recently been completed.

N-70 Highway Pakistan

The condition of old British colonial era N-70 national highway was very poor. In particular, the hilly sections of the road suffered from frequent rock falls and debris and occasional land slides from the steep mountain side. It had narrow road width, coupled with hair-pin bends and relatively steep slope. Trucks pulling containers were forced to take alternative route via N-65 highway to Quetta.  The solution was to use seven steel bridges that were 11.5 kilometers in length. The project was completed at a cost of $142 million with the assistance of JICA, Japan's international aid agency.

Steel Bridges At Fort Monroe on N70 Highway

Summary:

Recently completed infrastructure projects linking South Punjab with Balochistan will  boost agriculture and transportation sectors and the economy in Pakistan's least developed areas. Kachhi canal will irrigate hundreds of thousands of acres of arid land while improvement and widening of N-70 east-west national highway will help movement of goods and people to integrate remote areas with the national economy.

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Comment by Riaz Haq on April 11, 2020 at 10:35am

#China-#Pakistan Economic Corridor #CPEC to be enhanced in 2nd phase. #Industrial development, #agriculture , #food security, #science and #technology , and #tourism will be major sectors in this phase, according to Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa. | The Star Online

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is making steady progress, and its scope will be further enhanced in the second phase, the chairman of the CPEC Authority in Pakistan said.

The industrial development, agriculture, food security, science and technology, and tourism will be the major sectors in the second phase of the multi-billion-dollar project, Chairman Asim Saleem Bajwa said in a tweet on Wednesday.

Many projects focusing on infrastructure and energy sectors in the first phase of CPEC have been completed and are already operational, and work on the second phase is underway.

Talking to Xinhua, Vaqar Ahmed, joint executive director at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, an Islamabad-based think tank, said the foreign direct investment by Chinese companies in the special economic zones under CPEC, is expected to be the major contributor to the uplift of Pakistan's economy in the post COVID-19 scenario.

The process of formation of joint ventures between the private sectors of the both countries has already been initiated, and will get a further boost when things got back to normal after the disease is defeated.

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 20, 2020 at 5:02pm

#China has donated 300 tons of locust control pesticides and 350 vehicle-mounted sprayers in 3 batches to fight #LocustInvasion in #Pakistan since March 2020. Besides, a team of Chinese experts in #locust control also visited Pakistan in recent weeks. https://tribune.com.pk/story/2225880/2-china-assists-pakistan-locus...

Pakistan and China have further strengthened their friendly relationship during the global crisis.

Earlier, Islamabad extended assistance to Beijing in the fight against coronavirus late last year and now the latter is helping the former in the war against locust swarm attacks on the standing wheat crop.

“Pakistan provided assistance to China after the Covid-19 outbreak (in Wuhan late in December 2019)…China and its people hold to return to Pakistani brothers,” said Chinese Embassy representative in Pakistan Gu Wenliang on Wednesday.
He was speaking at the China-Pakistan Trade Hotline Cloud Salon on the theme of “Joint Efforts for Locust Control”, organised online by the China Economic Net – the only financial media among China’s key news websites.

The Express Tribune also provided strong support for the salon information and introduction in Pakistan.

“Pakistan is experiencing the worst locust plague, which has damaged major crops, including cotton, wheat and corn (worth over Rs200 billion),” Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar said in the webinar.

However, the federal and provincial governments are now well equipped to win the war against the second wave of insect attack in the country.

“We could not have done it without your (China and its people) support. China has provided timely support to fight the plague,” he said.

Climate change may have played the role in nourishing the insects. “Prime Minister Imran Khan has declared (locust) emergency in the country,” he added. The webinar was organised ahead of the 69th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan on May 21 this year.

Meanwhile, Pakistan is suffering from its worst desert locust infestation in 27 years.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, President Arif Alvi and Chinese President Xi Jinping witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on strengthening plant disease and insect pest control in Beijing.

China has donated 300 tons of locust control pesticides and 350 vehicle-mounted sprayers in three batches since March. Besides, a team of Chinese experts in locust control also visited Pakistan in recent weeks.
Pakistan’s minister for national food security and research also expressed hope for cooperation between the two countries in the fields of monitoring and warning, as well as youth training, and called on Chinese chemical enterprises to invest in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Embassy Commercial Counsellor in Beijing Badaruz Zaman said China had provided huge assistance to Pakistan to help it fight the plague.

Besides, the Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK has provided £6 million and the United Nations’ (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has given $1 million to Pakistan for combating the locust attack on standing crops.

“Some 5,000 personnel are involved in anti-locust operation in Pakistan. We look forward to awareness, technical assistance and training of locals from China,” he said.

The FAO has warned Pakistan about locust invasion in the country. “In Pakistan, 38% of the area (60% in Balochistan, 25% in Sindh and 15% in Punjab) are breeding grounds for the desert locust, whereas the entire country is under the threat of invasion if the desert locust is not contained in the breeding regions,” it said in a report the other day.

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 29, 2020 at 12:53pm

24 dams worth billions of rupees under construction in #Balochistan province of #Pakistan . #Water reservoirs are being built in Awaran, Washuk, Kharan, Zhob, Musakhel, Loralai. #CPEC #Gwadar | TNS World


Under the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP), twenty-four dams worth billions of rupees are under construction in Balochistan.

This was stated by the project director of 100 dams Muhammad Ibrahim Mengal in an exclusive interview with Radio Pakistan.

He said no compromise will be made on the quality of construction, which are likely to be completed by December this year.

He said the water reservoirs are being built in Awaran, Washuk, Kharan, Zhob, Musakhel, Loralai etc. The project director also said that measures are being taken to accomplish the dam project in order to improve ground water level for reducing the water problems that stretch throughout the province.

Comment by Riaz Haq on Friday

Germany to finance projects in energy, health sectors

https://www.dawn.com/news/1592552/germany-to-finance-projects-in-en...


German Development Bank and the Ministry of Economic Affairs on Thursday signed three agreements with a cumulative value of 18.5 million euros to help Pakistan fight climate change, resolve the energy issues, provide extended health facilities and combat polio.

Under the Women Employment in Private Health Sector, the German bank will provide a grant of Euro 12million exclusively for the establishment of women’s health clinics in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab to promote self-employment of women in the health sector.

The funding will also go towards the training of qualified women to run the clinics and consulting services in relation to the coordination, monitoring and reporting of the measures implemented.

A statement issued here said through the bank the German government will provide an additional grant of 5 million euros to augment the existing support for polio eradication.


This will help Pakistan finance polio vaccines and meet the costs for vaccination campaigns for implementation of Pakistan’s National Polio Emergency Action Plan.

The World Health Organisation and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are the implementing partners.

Under the climate change and energy components, a grant of 1.5 million euros ghas been provided to Pakistan to implement Accompanying Services for the Harpo Hydropower Project in the Gilgit-Baltistan region.

These accompanying measures are meant to be carried out at the project site in support of the main Harpo Hydropower Project to ensure the project sustainability.

The statement said that accompanying services shall comprise assistance to strengthen the power utility at the Gilgit-Baltistan Power Department as well as accompanying investments in the social infrastructure including relevant consulting measures.

Historically, Pakistan and Germany have enjoyed warm friendly relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1951. Earlier this year, the government of Germany, through its bank, signed agreements with Pakistan to provide 27 million euros for Gharo Substation in Sindh and 6 million euros for the regional infrastructure project.

Comment by Riaz Haq on Saturday

Hydropower plants benefit rural areas of Pakistan
Chinese company built over 13 small, mini and micro hydropower plants in Pakistan

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2273568/hydropower-plants-benefit-rura...

Chinese company Chongqing Savvy built more than 13 small, mini and micro hydropower plants in Pakistan as of 2019. Out of this, seven have finished installation and trial run and started generating power in Gilgit. The remaining eight plants are being installed in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).

These small, mini and micro hydropower plants have delivered tangible benefits for the well-being of local people in areas which earlier lacked access to electricity.

Chongqing Savvy Industries CEO George Zhou highlighted that power plants such as these could help electrify rural areas which would lay solid foundation for further modernisation and intelligent development given the renewability of hydropower against coal and gas based energy.

“We built a 1000 kW hydro-power station in Gilgit, which is used to supply electricity to the customs department,” he said. “Once the power is generated, the customs office can operate normally and out plant helps in clearance of items.”

Recalling suitable prerequisites for establishment of small, mini and micro hydropower plants in Pakistan, Zhou said they included abundant water resources, massive demand for electricity and the country’s potential for development.

Talking about the reasons behind his company’s investment in Pakistan, he attributed it to the close relationship between the two countries as well as the supporting facilities and potential market of his company’s products in Pakistan. Zhou added that as a large developing country with a population of over 200 million people, Pakistan still faced a vast gap in supply of power to pave way for industrialisation.

“Being an iron-brother, China is willing to offer technical support in this area,” he said. Besides, CPEC has created opportunities and privileges for small and medium enterprises like the company Zhou works for.

It is hoped that new energy, which is indeed a major trend in the world, could also help Pakistan realise massive development in the years to come.

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