–Calls on masses to avenge Imran Khan’s actions in upcoming elections
–Vows to end PTI chief’s political career
LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday inaugurated the test run of Lahore’s Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT). The chief minister aboard the metro train from the Islam Park station and participated in the test run that successfully concluded at Laxmi Chowk. He was accompanied by the Chinese consul general, ministers, assembly members and a large number of people.
Speaking at the occasion, Shehbaz said that OLMT in Lahore was a glowing and immortal example of Pakistan-China friendship. “Lahore has become the pioneer of this mass transit project and had Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) not created hurdles in the public welfare project, hundreds of thousands of people would have been benefitting from it already,” he said.
The chief minister said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had taken a number of steps for providing cost-effective, qualitative and comfortable traveling facilities to the people. “OMLT and metro bus projects have been completed for the common man,” he said and criticised Imran Khan for not reforming the education and healthcare sectors in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
“Now, the people have to take revenge of Imran Khan’s undue delay in this public welfare project by drowning PTI’s ship in the upcoming elections,” said the PML-N president while adding that he would put the PTI chief’s “political career to an end”.
He also regretted that people had to face some difficulties due to the construction work of OLMT and added that if an opportunity was accorded after the next general elections then a committee would be constituted to compensate the traders’ losses.
Earlier at the occasion, it was informed that the total length of orange line metro’s track was 27.12 kilometers. Out of it, 25.4 kilometers of the track was elevated while 1.72 kilometers had been constructed beneath the ground to protect historical places. OLMT has a total number of 26 stations out of which 24 stations were made at the height of 12 meters whereas the remaining two were constructed underground. It was further told that the number of trains was 27 with five bogies each. Moreover, the train would complete a distance of 27 kilometers – from Ali Town to Dera Gujran –in just 45 minutes.
The participants of the gathering were apprised that the train would pass through the congested areas of the city, facilitaing more than 250,000 people on a daily basis and within the next few years, the train would facilitate 500,000 passengers every day.
It was told that tendering was done at the start of the project in spite of a government-to-government agreement and Rs69 billion were saved by the Punjab government through post-bidding whereas around Rs6 billion were saved in local tendering in collaboration with the Chinese government.
The project was then divided into four packages to expedite the construction work. The metro train track was being constructed under package-I and II while depot and stabling yard were being constructed under package-III and IV respectively. The construction work for the track started on October 25, 2015, while that for the depot at Dera Gujran and stabling yard in Ali Town started on January 22, 2016.
It was further told that up till now, more than 88 per cent construction work had been completed. 94 per cent work of package-I from Dera Gujran to Chauburji, 84 per cent work of package-II from Chauburji to Ali Town, 89 per cent work of package-III depot and 91 per cent work of construction of the package-IV stabling yard had also been completed.
The Chinese-made metro train bogies are air-conditioned and comfortable. Each train consists of five bogies and each bogie is 20 meters long with 60 seats. Separate seats have been allocated for women, senior citizens and special persons. 200 passengers can travel in each bogie and public address system has also been installed for the convenience of the passengers. The doors of the electric train are fully automatic and have also been installed at the platform to ensure double safety of the passengers. Installation of electric accelerators is in full swing as well, the officials informed.