Lahore Orange Metro line inaugurated - GulfToday

Lahore Orange Metro line inaugurated


A newly-built Orange Line Metro Train takes a test run in Lahore on Tuesday. Agence France-Presse

Tariq Butt

After a prolonged delay, a trial run of the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) Lahore was inaugurated on Tuesday. This was the flagship project of former Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who was invited at the inauguration ceremony but he happened to be in London in connection with the treatment of his elder brother deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

There were no celebrations by the federal or Punjab government because the project was started by their rival Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) regime and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has not only been opposed but has been condemning it terming it a waste of money.

A day earlier, the PML-N leaders and workers “inaugurated” the OLMT by holding celebrations in the Punjab capital.

Opposition Leader in the National Assembly and former chief minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif who is currently in London for his elder brother Nawaz Sharif’s treatment has hailed and congratulated the people of Lahore on the launch of the Orange Line Train.

Punjab Transport Minister Jehangzeb Khan and provincial advisor Dr Salman Shah were the main government figures at the ceremony apart from other figures.

All dignitaries gathered at Dera Gujran Station (Station No.1) and boarded the metro train which reached Ali Town, last station, after a run of 45 minutes.

Following the inauguration, the project formally entered in its completion phase. After the successful completion of the testing phase, the project is expected to open doors for the general public by March 2020. This train will complete 27 kilometres of distance from Ali Town to Dera Gujran in 45 minutes.

It will pass through the congested areas of the city where more than 250,000 passengers travel on a daily basis.

Once the project is completed, it will connect Raiwind, Multan Road, McLeod Road, Lahore Junction Railway Station and the Grand Trunk Road.

It will be the first line of the Lahore Metro, which is Pakistan’s first mass rapid transit train system.

For several months, the project proceeded at a very slow pace because of the litigation in the Supreme Court as some leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) during its opposition days challenged it in the highest judicial forum.

Despite several hurdles, the previous Shahbaz Sharif government tried hard to continue the construction  work at a fast speed.  However, it could not complete it.

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