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Chinese companies scramble to offset impact of flooding, support locals in need

                BEIJING, Aug 31 (APP):Chinese companies in Pakistan are making efforts to minimize consequences such a

s project suspension and road damage caused by the heavy flooding that has devastated many parts of the country while offering aid to those in need.

Though there has been a “measurable” impact on operations, no casualties have been reported among employees at the moment, several Chinese state-owned companies told the Global Times.

While the heavy rain that has lasted for months has devastated many areas of the country, and some projects involving Chinese companies have suffered disruption and damage, several state-owned companies that the newspaper spoke to said that there have been no casualties among their employees and the impact on their projects are controllable so far.

Meanwhile, they are beefing up efforts to minimize the disruption while offering support to those in need.

In the past two months, Pakistan has continued to experience extreme weather. Sindh, Punjab and other regions have been affected by several rounds of heavy rainfall and mudslides, and projects in the affected areas have suffered varying degrees of losses, a person with infrastructure firm Power Construction Corporation of China (PowerChina) said.

The economic impact is tangible as the construction site and roads used by the Chinese-funded enterprise’s project have been flooded, and the on-site facilities and finished products were damaged to a large extent, the company said.

Some ongoing projects have had to be suspended to curb further losses.

External roads were damaged, communications were interrupted and the transportation of production and living supplies was also interrupted, the person with PowerChina said.

Some of the disaster-stricken project sites could not be accessed, and personnel access was also affected, according to the company.

Despite the disruption, the overall impact on Chinese companies is controllable so far as companies have taken contingency measures,the insiders said.

Since the disaster, the project departments of Chinese-funded enterprises have responded actively.

They have organized construction personnel and promptly repaired damaged roads, while also trying to replenish living materials, according to PowerChina.

A manager surnamed Jin with Henan D.R. Construction Group said that at present, their projects and factories are located near Lahore and Faisalabad in Punjab Province, and the impact has been relatively small.

“We are mainly trying to do a good job of drainage after rain at project sites,” Jin said.

A spokesperson for the Pakistan Branch of China State Construction Engineering Corporation told that the flood would have a “certain impact” on its motorway alignment protection as the company was in the last year of the defect notification period, which meant it would be responsible for repairing damage during this period. But he stressed that “it is a positive test for the project.”

As an important country under the Belt and Road Initiative, Pakistan has been pursuing infrastructure projects ranging from power plants to dams, with the participation of Chinese companies.

For example, China State Construction has carried out a number of infrastructure projects in Pakistan, including the Peshawar-Karachi Motorway project (Sukkur-Multan section), which is designed for a speed of 120 kilometers per hour, with six lanes and a total length of 392 kilometers. It was listed as an “early harvest project” under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Zhang Shilu, general manager of Zhengbang Agriculture Pakistan (Pvt) Limited, is currently in Lahore, and the impact has been controllable for the most part.

The company’s plant is based in Faisalabad, the second largest city in Punjab after Lahore, Zhang told the newspaper.

But there were still tangible effects in general terms, such as with the sales of agricultural goods like fertilizers, Zhang said.

“This year’s cotton crop in Pakistan would have been greatly affected. About 50 percent of the cotton producing areas have been affected by the heavy rainfall,” Zhang estimated.

While trying to minimize the impact on their personnel and projects, Chinese companies are also going all out to offer assistance for those in need.

PowerChina is preparing donations of goods and funds that are needed while providing assistance to local Pakistani employees who have been affected by the disaster at home.

Jin’s company has been actively responding to the call for assistance from the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan by donating money and materials to those in need.

China State Construction has also donated Rs 600,000 in response to calls from the embassy and the local Chinese business chamber.

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