State-owned giant China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) is celebrating the completion of the 392-km Sukkur-Multan motorway in Pakistan, built in what it calls a record-breaking time of three years.
Part of the longer Peshawar-to-Karachi Motorway project, the highway is the largest infrastructure project under the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative.
Chinese news agency Xinhua reports that 28,900 people worked on the road, more than 90% of them Pakistani nationals.
The highway helps link Multan, a region known for mangoes, hand-embroidered clothing and pottery, to the commercial centre of Karachi, facilitating exports.
Around 3,000 local people were trained in construction during the project.
One, Alamdar Khan, worked as a project coordinator and told Xinhua that he was introduced to techniques he had never heard of before.
"In this project Chinese used drones to monitor the construction, their GPS is remarkable and their testing equipment is one of the best in the world, working with them was a training and a great skill development opportunity for me," Khan told Xinhua.
The project is now waiting for Pakistan’s National Highway Authority for formal inauguration.
In February this year CSCEC rejected allegations of impropriety made by a Pakistani government minister over the procurement of the project under former prime minister Nawaz Sharif (see Further reading).
Image: A section of the newly-built Sukkur-Multan motorway in Pakistan (From the Facebook page of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor)