GILGIT, Dec 14 (APP): The Chinese Engineers engaged in widening of Karakuram Highway (KKH) are working round the clock to get the project completed within stipulated time so that people could have an easy access to both the countries. This was stated by General Manager (GM) National Highway Authority (NHA) Abdullah Jan while talking to APP here Tuesday. He said the Chinese Company CRBC was working on widening of KKH which was linking the country with China and was the main source of trade between both sides.
The General Manager said the highway was being widened in two parts. First one from Khunjarab to Raikote point, while other from Raikote to onward.
The NHA official said this 335 Kms long part of KKH would cost $500 million, adding, 85 per cent of the total cost had already been provided by the Chinese EXIM Bank while remaining was being provided by the federal government.
In reply to a question he said more than 3000 Chinese workers were working on the project, but the number will decrease because of the severe weather conditions.
The GM further said the state of the art design would give maximum comfort to the commuters in this mountainous terrain with minimum rather slightest risk of accidents.
Abdullah Jan said width of the road was 7.3 meter having 0.5 meter shoulder which was giving a picture of an ideal national highway.
He said the work on the project had started in year 2008, and would complete in 2012.
The official said some 35 RCC bridges were constructed by the Chinese engineers and more bridges were being constructed.
General Manager said the heavy machinery being used in the execution of project had also been transported from China.
The Chinese engineers had prepared the design of Karakuram Highway (KKH) in a way that there would be no chance of land-sliding on the highway resulting in smooth flow of traffic, he added.
Abdullah Jan disclosed that 18 open cut tunnel were being constructed at potentially identified sites where land-sliding always hamper traffic.
He said a 500 meter long mine tunnel had also been constructed near Khunjarab Pass where avalanches used to block road, adding, these tunnels would also ensure safety of the passengers and mitigate chances of human losses.
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