Punjab

Lahore: Punjab CM pays surprise visit to monitor construction of OLMT project

Chief Minister of Punjab (CM) Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday paid surprise visit to monitor construction of Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project in Lahore after getting green signal from the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC).
Arriving at the site without protocol, Punjab CM met with the engineers and other staff members and directed them to complete the project as early as possible. He also congratulated them over court’s decision.
Shehbaz Sharif said that the project will facilitate people in travelling and that it will be a biggest successful plan of Punjab government.
Earlier, SC announced reserved verdict after seven months and 20 days and accepted provincial government’s pleas that were filed against Lahore High Court’s August order (LHC) to stop the construction within 200 feet of 11 historical sites in the metropolis for safety purpose.
The court ordered the authorities to take measures for the protection of ancient heritage buildings in 30 days. These sites include Shalimar Gardens, Gulabi Bagh Gateway, Chauburji, Zebunnisa’s Tomb, Lakshmi Building, the General Post Office and others.
The bench also directed to start the project for two weeks on trial basis and also ordered to form green belt around Chauburji.
About Orange Line Metro Train project
In May 2014, Punjab government had signed a project with Chairman of the Chinese National Development Reforms Commission regarding construction of an Orange Line Train in Lahore so that the metropolis will depict a melange of the traditional and the modern.
The train route will be 27.1 kilometer long, spread from Ali Town to Thokar Niaz Baig, from Multan Road to Scheme Mor, Chowburji, MAO College, Mall Road, Laxmi Chowk and Railway Station, from Garhi Shahu Bridge to GT Road and UET and from Pakistan Mint to Dera Gojran.
The Orange Line Train is said to be the common man’s ride that will move through places where people with low income and living standards are spending lives.
The original deadline for the project was December 25, 2017.
Estimated cost for OLMT
According to Punjab’s new budget, the biggest development project in the history of Lahore, Orange Line Metro Train Project, has been allocated the largest amount of finance in the history of development projects. Rs 93 billion has been allocated for the project in the development budget of Punjab for this year, which is Rs 8 billion more than the amount allocated last year.
No development project has ever been allocated such an amount from the budget. The fact that such a huge amount has been dedicated to this project shows the interest of the Punjab government in the completion of this project. It also shows that this is the Punjab government’s star project, which they aim to cash on in the next general elections.
“Project is example of long-lasting friendship of Pakistan and China”
Chief Minister of Punjab (CM) Shahbaz Sharif termed Orange Line Train project as an example of long-lasting friendship of Pakistan and China. He stated that the Orange Line Train will provide modern transport facilities to the nation.
The CM also assured that the plan will assist as many as 2.5 lac people daily for transportation.