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April 5, 2016

Train project won’t affect health, education budget: CM


April 5, 2016

Says Exim Bank has made 100pc funding for project


Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that Lahore Orange Line Train is a splendid project for provision of modern, respectable and safe transport facility to the citizens. 

He said that Rs76 billion of the poor nation had been saved in the project and saving of such a big amount through negotiations after completion of tendering was unprecedented in the history of the country. He said that though tendering process was frozen after agreement at G to G level but the Punjab government had still completed tendering in this project. He said that it was the first project in the history of Pakistan under which China had given civil works to Pakistani companies. 

He said that Exim Bank of China had made 100 percent funding for Lahore Orange Line Train project. Shahbaz Sharif said that modern, speedy, affordable and quality transport facilities were the right of the poor. He said that Lahore Orange Line Train project was for poor masses and such projects were necessary to minimise the gulf between the rich and the poor. He said there was a need for implementation of welfare projects for the people for preventing a bloody revolution. 

The chief minister said the elements criticising public welfare projects had no interest in progress and development of the people. He said that those who were claiming that Rs70 billion had been spent on Lahore Metro Bus project had not been able to present any evidence in support of their claim. He said that he had repeatedly said that Lahore Metro Bus project had cost Rs30 billion and he would be accountable if even a cost of Rs35 billion was proved. He said that Khan Sahib had not been able to prove that a sum of Rs70 billion had been spent on metrobus; therefore, paying attention to his allegations was a waste of time.

The chief minister was talking to senior journalists, columnists and TV anchorpersons during a meeting. He personally gave a briefing on some important aspects of Lahore Orange Line Metro Train project. He said the Orange Line Train project had been evolved only to provide better transport facilities to people. He said it was an injustice that elite, policy-makers and government officers travelled by modern vehicles, the poor had no option but to travel by dilapidated buses. He said that lakhs of people were reaching their destinations on time through metro buses daily. He said that with the completion of Metro Train Project, initially 2.5 lakh people would benefit from this service while their number would increase to five lakh daily. 

He said that China had made 100 percent funding for Orange Line Metro Train project; therefore, there was no question that the budget for health, education and other social sectors would be affected. He said it was a grave injustice that while elite availed all facilities, the people were deprived of even basic necessities. He said that those criticising public welfare projects should show mercy to the nation. 

The chief minister said that if metro trains could operate in India, Iran, Turkey and China for the benefit of the citizens why people of Pakistan were deprived of this facility. He said that metro train project had been evolved for the provision of quality travel facilities to the citizens and 100 percent funding by China for this project was a big achievement of the government. 

Shahbaz Sharif said that it was responsibility of media that besides pointing out the shortcomings of the government it should also highlight government measures for the welfare of the masses. He said that promotion of public awareness regarding welfare projects was the national responsibility of media.

Mass Transit Authority  Chairman Sibtain Fazal Haleem while giving background and important features of Orange Line Metro Train Project informed that the track of Orange Line would not endanger any historical building. 

Fateha Khawani for the victims of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park tragedy was also offered on this occasion. The chief minister said that Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park blast was the worst incident of terrorism in the history of Punjab and it should be strongly condemned.

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