Dr Mahmood A Khwaja
Published Date: Jan 1, 2018
CPEC & environment
THIS refers to the article ‘CPEC plan details still awaited’ (Dec 21). The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is considered a beneficial project for both China and Pakistan and the region.
The Ambassador of China to Pakistan, recently said: “The CPEC has achieved tangible results and created a new economic miracle.”
Transport infrastructure has been identified as one of the CPEC’s four priorities and key areas. The investment and resources put into CPEC are huge. Obviously it would also have been a part of the plan to keep the environmental cost to the minimum possible, so as not to risk the health of the population of the six Khyber Pakhtunkhwa districts.
According to the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), at the district level along the CPEC’s northern route, both water and noise seem the second biggest challenge resulting from road construction activities.
To minimise the impacts of the emissions from these construction activities, there is a dire need for effective measures (during and post-CPEC project) to protect the environment and health of the Chinese and Pakistani workers and the population, especially in Mansehra.
It is recommended that a district-specific environmental impact assessment should be carried out for all CPEC projects (including transport infrastructure-related) to identify the likely affected areas. Subsequently, appropriate measures should be taken to protect environment and public health and the workforce.