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Sunday Oct 08 2017

CM Punjab unveils Orange Line Metro Train project


LAHORE: Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif unveiled a mega-transport scheme, Orange Line Metro Project, in Punjab’s capital on Sunday.

While addressing the event, he remarked that people levelling false allegations are wasting the time of nation.

When metro bus project was under construction, our opponents called it 'jangla bus' and claimed that money has been embezzled. Interestingly, our opponents then announced metro bus project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. "However, there is no sign of metro bus in Peshawar," he claimed.

"It was alleged that corruption worth Rs70 billion occurred in metro bus project. However, our opponents could not even prove Rs35 billion corruption," remarked Shehbaz.

"If the corruption is proven then the nation can hold me accountable." 

Lashing out at Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, he said that the party has done nothing for the people in KP.

People who speak about 'tabdeeli' [change], are the ones who did nothing to provide any relief to the people. There is no metro bus or any development happening, he claimed, adding that when dengue outbreak hit Peshawar, PTI Cheif Imran Khan chose to hide in the mountains.

Speaking about the benefits of the project, he said it will make conveyance easy for everyone. "This is the best inter-city transport project," he added.  

Before the event, he sent messages on social media lauding the project.

Sharif also said that the project is meant to make the underprivileged feel that “they have equal rights on the state resources as their rich counterparts… it aims to create equality.”

The management has finalised the arrangements for the event. 

The 27 trains are likely to cover the distance as per the route built up until December 25 — when the project is set to be launched. 

A single train has the capacity to carry 1,000 people, out of which 200 can be seated while 800 can commute while standing.

The project has also been included in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, it was decided in the Economic Coordination Committee meeting held in January.

The metro train is expected to run on electricity and to transport up to 250,000 passengers a day. 

The capacity will be increased to 500,000 passengers by 2025.

Launched in May 2014 by the Punjab chief minister, in collaboration with a Chinese company, the project will be the country’s first metro line. 

The construction for the project began in 2015 and was personally supervised by Sharif. 

Costing a whopping $1.6 billion, the 27-kilometres rail line was set to be up and running by mid-2017 but got embroiled in a legal battle in the Lahore High Court which ordered a stay on several sites as the development was trampling over heritage sites in Lahore.