GWADAR: Gwadar Port Authority Chairman Dostain Khan Jamaldini has said the customs authority’s inability to resolve issues of internet speed and reliability at the port managed by a Chinese state-owned entity is operating at less than capacity.
In an interview to Bloomberg, Jamaldini said that although the Chinese have installed an alternative wireless system for provision of internet services, that also is affected by bandwidth limitations.
However, the customs authority online system is plagued by delays due to slow internet connectivity said Jamaldini.
He added: “About four cargoes of seafood go daily from here to Karachi, referring to the jetty next to the port where customs clearance is done manually. We are not proactive, we are reactive. It’s a systematic flaw.”
A fibre optic cable laid connecting Khunjerab to Rawalpindi is set for inauguration. It has been laid to connect Pakistan to China and will provide a direct link between Pakistan, Middle Asia and East Asia.
The cable will be further extended to Gwadar which will fully connect both China and Pakistan, which will address the internet woes being faced by the flagship port.
This is amongst the only information and communication technology (ICT) project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and is part of the early harvest programme.
The projects total cost is projected at $44 million and 85 percent of the loan has been provided by Exim Bank of China at a discounted rate. The engineering, procurement and construction (ECP) have been carried out by Huawei and the owner of this project is SCO.
The fibre optic pipeline project commenced in March 2016 and concluded in June this year. The cable extends over 820 km and has 26 microwave transmission nodes from Rawalpindi to Karimabad and 171 km of aerial fibre cable from Karimabad to Khunjerab as a back-up.
It will provide direct connectivity between Pakistan, Middle Asia and East Asia and reduce the possibility of disruption to international traffic.
Also, the cable would have multiple international links with the new Gwadar landing station to decrease disconnectivity problems.