Monday Feb 26, 2018
LAHORE: The Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project was run on a trial basis on Monday.
The train, as part of its trial run, was run near its depot and authorities said that a 12km long portion of the track, from Dera Gujran to Lakshmi Chowk, will be completed during the current week.
Advisor to the chief minister Khawaja Ahmad also visited the project and said four more train sets have reached Lahore for the project.
Earlier in December, the Supreme Court of Pakistan dismissed the decision of the Lahore High Court (LHC) halting work on selected sites of the OLMT project.
Although the apex court has allowed the Punjab government to go ahead with the project at the same speed, the bench has set 31 conditions to ensure the project's transparency.
The conditions include strict monitoring of the construction as well as a dedicated trial period before train operations begin; placement of high-tech devices and hiring of expert monitors to ensure vibrations from the construction don't damage the heritage sites and various measures for the beautification and restoration of the sites.
The apex court has also ordered the formation of a five-member experts' committee and three-member technical committee to oversee the project and ensure the protection of the heritage site under question.
A Rs100 million fund will also be established by the government to maintain the heritage sites, according to the court order.
Launched in May 2014 by Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in collaboration with a Chinese company, the project is set to be the country’s first metro line, but it got embroiled in a legal battle in LHC which ordered a stay on several sites as the development was trampling over heritage sites in Lahore.
A single train within the 27-kilometre rail line has the capacity to carry 1,000 people, out of which 200 can be seated while 800 can commute while standing.
The project, which was included in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor earlier in the year, is expected to run on electricity and transport up to 250,000 passengers a day.
The capacity is set to be increased to 500,000 passengers by 2025.
The original deadline for the project was December 25, 2017.