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Expansion Projects of Karakoram Highway

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Expansion Projects of Karakoram Highway
The KKH expansion project is China’s brainchild and an initiative of ex-President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf. The ambitious plan, for improving the crossregional transportation and commercial network among the client states, will convert KKH into a 90-feet wide expressway for a threefold increase in the existing capacity. The expansion and re-alignment will allow speed with safety and cost reduction by accommodating heavy-laden trailers under extreme climatic conditions. The corridor development project will cost $6 billion and will link Central Asia and China to the Asian highway network, passing through Afghanistan and Iran.54 Further, a 1,100 km long rail-link worth costing $10.237 billion will also be laid, which will cut the distance between Pakistan’s capital Islamabad and China’s trade centre Kashgar to a mere seventeen hours. In addition, oil and gas pipelines
(OGP) will also run across the corridor55 linking the existing fuel-lanes of Central Asia and China to refineries on Pakistani ports, and the Middle East.56 In essence, the conduit will facilitate a range of world class transport services such as freight management, trucking, modern dry-port infrastructure, an efficient logistical chain
China is the fastest growing economy in the world right now and its growing economy demands new gates of for expanding. its massive size forces the western provinces to take a longer route to the western ports to export its products. This creates a difficulty so the shortest possible route available to these provinces is through Pakistan. Therefore economically the warm ports of Pakistan such as gawadar are really important for China as a result the karakoram highway project was started,. But the growing demands require a far more larger transportation system therefore an extension of the previous system was needed.
The Karakoram Highway was built by the governments of Pakistan and China. It was started in 1959 and was completed in 1979 and was open to the public since 1986. About 810 Pakistanis and about 200 Chinese workers lost their lives mostly in landslides and falls, while building the highway. The route of the KKH traces one of the many paths of the ancient Silk Road.
On the Pakistani side, the road was constructed by Frontier Works Organization , employing the Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers. The highway, connecting the Gilgit–Baltistan region of Pakistani Kashmir to the ancient Silk Road, runs approximately 1,300 km from Kashgar, a city in the Xinjiang region of China, to Abbottabad, of Pakistan. An extension of the highway south west from Abbottabad, in the form of N-35, meets the Grand Trunk Road, N-5 at Hassanabdal, Pakistan.
At 806 kilometres (501 mi) in length, the Pakistani section of the highway starts in Abbottabad, although the N-35 of which KKH is now part, officially starts from Hassanabdal. The highway meets the Indus River at Thakot and continues along the river until Jaglot, where the Gilgit River joins the Indus River. This is where three great mountain ranges meet: the Hindukush , the Himalaya, and the Karakoram. The western end of the Himalayas, marked by the ninth highest peak in the world, Nanga Parbat, can be seen from the highway. The highway passes through the capital of Gilgit–Baltistan, Gilgit, and continues through the valleys of Nagar and Hunza, along the Hunza River. Some of the highest mountains and famous glaciers in the Karakoram can be seen in this section. The highway meets the Pakistani-Chinese border at Khunjerab Pass.…...

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