Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar yesterday inaugurated the much-awaited Lahore’s Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT).
Buzdar formally launched the project from Dera Gujran Orange Line Metro station.
Orange Line is an automated rapid transit system in Lahore and is Pakistan’s first metro in the entire country. It spans 27.1km 25.4km of which is elevated and 1.72km underground.
The line will be served by 26 stations and is expected to handle 250,000 passengers daily. It is a part of the wider China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project and being financed by both the governments of Pakistan and China.
The project was initiated in May 2014 while financing for the project was secured in December 2015 when China’s Exim Bank agreed to provide a soft loan of $1.55 billion for the project. The construction works on the project began in October 2015.
Speaking on the occasion, Buzdar said the mega project is part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the provincial government made hectic efforts to complete the project. “I thank the Chinese government for their help and support in completion of the project,” he stated.
The CM stated that Pakistan and China have good ties and will continue to extend cooperation in other sectors.
He added that the service will benefit the people of Lahore and address transport woes. “It will provide state-of-the-art transport facilities to the people with low travel cost,” Buzdar said.
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to PM on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill has said the government will pay Rs12 billion as annual subsidy to operate the train service.
He stated that the operating cost of per ticket is Rs274 per ticket while the subsidy is Rs234.
“The Punjab government should declare it a day of mourning as it is a failed project,” Gill remarked.
A few months ago, the senior officials of the Punjab government took a ride in the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train that completed its high speed test run. The test run of the train was conducted at the high speed of over 70km per hour and it was completed in 20 minutes.
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