Islamabad: (PR) 11th December, 2013. A national seminar on Advancement in Bridge Engineering in Pakistan was held at ERRA HQ today graced by Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reform Prof Ahsan Iqbal as Chief Guest of the Event.
Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Professor Ahsan Iqbal thanked the Gov of Japan for their help in helping build Pakistan economy. He said that international community has shown much confidence in Pakistan after present government’s policies, and present government assigning highest priority for economic development. He said Pakistan was an economic hub in 60s and their governments previous policies made Pakistan a leading country in South Asia, where Pakistan was the only country making airports and motor ways opening ways for economic growth. “We have a weak infrastructure bottleneck and in vision 2025 we are looking improving the present infrastructure”.
Long term plan is needed for our population growth versus our facilities’ and economic challenges, said the Minister. He also said government was focusing on making Pakistan an economic corridor through regional connectivity projects, where Pakistan will be the biggest beneficiary of regional connectivity.
Infrastructure to Turkey, Focus on smart technologies to cut down distance on Karakurram highway by 100 kilometers and 3M project i.e., Mirpoore, Mangla, Muzaffarabad highway is starting. Knowledge acquired by ERRA should not go waste, as Pakistan is earthquake prone country and Japan can help us find new solutions, the Minister said. He also said that Pakistan needs our integrity and professionalism to use the borrowed money with honesty and integrity, as our children will be paying for borrowed loans. Addressing engineers in the seminar he said there was a need to cut down the time of construction and adopt better faster and cheaper construction methods as this is the only way of surviving in the new economy world.
Earlier, welcoming the national and international audience the Deputy Chairman ERRA, Maj General Azeem Asif welcomed the guests and said that ERRA today has emerged as an internationally recognized organization due to clear vision, use of emerging technologies, and constructing seismically safe building, bridges, roads, schools and health facilities. Construction of 600,000 seismically safe houses which have received international recognition in form of SASAKAWA award and construction of 9500 seismically safe projects speak of ERRA’s commitment and making ERRA the only organization which has implemented building codes in reconstruction of all buildings and infrastructure. Nilluchi Bridge he said was one example of use of new technologies making bridges earthquake resistant and invulnerable to floods. He said, this was also one example of transfer of technology as the Pakistanis were trained by Japan for construction of this bridge.
ERRA he said has advocated for adoption of latest cost effective and fast construction techniques and adoption of building codes for safer and resilient Pakistan. ERRA he said had arranged an international conference on adoption of building codes and a seminar in collaboration with UN Habitat following the International seminar. He also thanked Government of Japan and JICA for funding of the project.
Brig Niazi elaborated on the aims of the seminar, and said that construction of bridges was not an easy task in a Pakistan due to difficult terrain and severe weather changes. He said that 92 bridges were destroyed during earthquake 2005, and now 72 have been constructed by ERRA using modern technologies.
The seminar he said will focus on modern bridge construction techniques including modern surveying and progress in deck technology, bearing joints and seismic elements, advance testing facilities, consistent, economical and fast and programmed inspection techniques.