The Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday morning visited the $1.6 billion Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) Project route in Lahore, and reviewed progress of work on different stations.
Shehbaz Sharif blamed the PTI for delaying completion of the project for 14 months - first by approaching the Lahore High Court and then the Supreme Court which announced the verdict after eight months. Justices Ejaz Afzal Khan, Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Maqbool Baqar and Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel were also part of the larger bench hearing the case today.
The 27-kilometre project was earlier scheduled to be completed by December 25, 2017; however, now the Punjab government is planning to complete it by April 2018. The committee will also be given Rs130 million in funds for the fix and renovation of the heritage sites.
He said that had the project completed on time and not subjected to delays, it would have set thousands of vehicles off the road and could have led to less severe smog in the provincial capital.
The other committee will assess any losses suffered due to the suspension of construction work due to the LHC decision. It will present its recommendations to the chief minister.
The Orange Line Train project is a milestone initiative for the country as it is a mega project of public interest which will provide global quality transport facilities to the people after its completion, the chief minister told a press conference, pledging to implement the 31 conditions set by the Supreme Court in letter and spirit. "All efforts & energies to be employed to complete this mega public welfare project as early as possible InshaAllah!".
Construction of metro train project being purported as the easiest mode of travel for commuters in Lahore was halted as opposition had filed petitions with the high court claiming violation of the law owing to heritage buildings in the way. These sites include Shalimar Gardens, Gulabi Bagh Gateway, Chauburji, Zebunnisa's Tomb, Lakshmi Building, the General Post Office and others.