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Shahbaz inaugurates test run of metro train

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May 17, 2018

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday inaugurated the test run of the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train. He was aboard the train which completed the test run from Islam Park to Lakshmi Chowk successfully.

The Chinese consul general, ministers, MPAs and a large number of people were present. Talking on the occasion, Shahbaz said the metro train in Lahore was a glowing example of the Pakistan-China friendship. Lahore had become the pioneering Metro Train City of Pakistan. Had the PTI not created hurdles in this mega public welfare project, lakhs of people would have been using this facility today. In a briefing, it was informed that the total length of train track was 27.12 kilometres. Out of it, 25.4 kilometres track is elevated while 1.72 kilometres track has been made underground to protect the historical places. Orange line metro train has 26 stations and 24 stations are built at the height of 12 meters whereas two stations are underground. The number of trains is 27 and each train has five bogies. This train will complete 27 kilometers distance from Ali Town to Dera Gujran in 45 minutes.

The train was operated by fossil fuel engines for the test run and would be operated by electric engines once the project is completed. According to sources, the civil works of the OLMT are over 90 per cent complete while the technical works are around 70 per cent complete. It may be added that the train will pass through congested areas of the city where more than 2.5 lakh passengers daily travel. Within next few years, the train will facilitate five lakh passengers daily. At the start of this project, tendering was done in spite of a government-to-government agreement and Rs 69 billion were saved by the Punjab government through post-bidding, whereas around Rs 6 billion were saved in local tendering in collaboration with the Chinese government. The project was divided in four packages to expedite the construction work. The train track is being constructed under package-I and II while depot and stabling yard are being constructed under package-III and IV respectively. The construction work started on October 25, 2015. Up till now, more than 88 per cent construction work has been completed. 94 per cent work of package-I from Dera Gujran to Chauburji, 84 per cent work of package-II from Chauburji to Ali Town, 89 per cent work of package-III depot and 91 per cent work of construction of package-IV stabling yard has been completed.

The Chinese-made metro train bogies are air-conditioned and comfortable. Each train consists of five bogies and each bogie is 20 meters long with 60 seats. Separate seats are allocated for women, senior citizens and special persons. As many as 200 passengers can travel in each bogie and public address system is also installed for the convenience of passengers. The doors of the electric train are fully automatic and doors are also installed at the platform to ensure double safety of passengers. Installation of electric accelerators is in full swing to help the needy to reach the platform easily. All 27 train sets have been imported and 14 of them are placed at Dera Gujran while 13 are parked at stabling yard of Ali Town.

Addressing a public gathering at Lakshmi Chowk after the test run, Shahbaz said the PTI was responsible for the delay in the timely completion of the OLMT and remarked that people would take revenge for this delay in the upcoming elections. He said Imran had been too late in spotting that he was a dangerous person, and the PTI chairman would understand how dangerous the PML-N president was when he would bury the politics of Khan once and for all in the 2018 elections.

He said the metro train and bus service projects had been completed for the common man. If an opportunity was accorded after the elections, a blue line metro train would be constructed from Bhati Gate to airport, he said and added this sort of projects would also be introduced in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Imran devastated KP and tried to obstruct Punjab development projects aimed at welfare of common masses. He said Zardari, who ruined Sindh, had resurfaced in a new shape and now, Bilawal House and Bani Gala had turned into conjoined twins.

“We have developed new bridges, roads, institutions and hospitals in Punjab and if an opportunity is accorded, these projects will also be started in Sindh, Balochistan and KP. He said that orange line metro train project has been delayed for 22 months due to the shenanigans of the PTI. But in spite of that, this project is near to completion and this has tremendously unnerved Niazi Sahib. He said that if this delay has not been occurred, work would have been started on the blue line project but this is not acceptable to the PTI. He has proved his enmity with the nation because these projects would have helped the masses reach their destinations well in time.

He said the whole team, especially Kh Ahmad Hassaan, Sibtain Fazal Haleem, the commissioner Lahore Division and the chief secretary deserved accolades for working on the project round-the-clock.

Kh Ahmed Hassan also addressed. KP PML-N President Amir Muqam was also present. Meanwhile, the chief minister congratulated the nation and Muslim Ummah over the start of the holy month of Ramadan.

In a message, he said: “We thank Almighty Allah for blessing us with this holy month. This month gives a lesson of self-accountability to us. This blissful month provides an opportunity of unity, tolerance and deep thinking to us.” He asked the nation to pray for peace. He said the Punjab government had announced a historic Ramadan package amounting to billion of rupees for common people.

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