LAHORE: Lahore Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) contractors and other officials concerned had been asked to complete necessary development works at the OLMT Depot near Dera Gujjran as the government is all set to unveil nation’s first metro train in the provincial capital on October 7.
OLMT Steering Committee Chairman Khawaja Ahmad Hassaan, while chairing weekly progress review meeting on Wednesday, disclosed that Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif constituted a special committee to finalise arrangements for the unveiling ceremony of the first shipment of rolling stock. Passenger wagons of the metro train were expected in the provincial capital sometime by the end of this week and the government had planned big celebrations at the location.
He directed contractors and officials concerned to complete development works of two model stations, including Islam Park and Salamatpura, by October 15. He asked contractors to increase the pace of development works where necessary by increasing labour force. Hassaan also directed authorities to conduct complete a survey of roads which will be used for carrying rolling stock to the depot at Dera Gujjran and directed City Traffic Police to provide escort pilots for leading carriers. He urged all utility service departments to finalise their arrangements for this purpose.
Meeting participants were told that overall more than 77% of civil works had been completed. Twelve metro train stations had been completed out of a total 13 along package-I (from Dera Gujjran to Chouburji). Progress on package-I was 86.5%, on package-II (from Choburji to Ali Town) was 56%, on package-III (Depot near Dera Gujran) was 80% while on package-IV (Stabling Yard near Ali Town) it was 77%.
The meeting participants were further told that 97% work had been completed for construction of a bridge on Lahore Ring Road near Quaid-e-Azam Interchange and 75% work has been executed on another bridge which was under-construction on Railway Lines near Parachute Colony to build an elevated track for Orange Line. Civil work on package-II has also been geared up and an average of seven girders were being erected for the construction of the viaduct for the train. Design for horticulture works along Grand Trunk Road had been handed over to the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) for plantation.
The 27-kilometere long Orange Line Metro Train Project was being funded through a $1.65 billion soft loan through China’s Exim Banks. Project documents indicated around $1 billion would be directly transferred to Chinese contractors CR-NORINCO for procurement of rolling stock, while the remaining amount would be transferred to the government for the construction of track and allied infrastructure.
The project was part of the city metro network and when completed, it would connect Raiwind, Multan Road, Mcleod Road, Lahore Junction Railway Station and Grand Trunk Road.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 28th, 2017.
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