Orange Line, a gift

TERMING the Orange Line train project ‘a gift for the people of Lahore’ Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Saqib Nisar on Wednesday ordered contractors to finish work on the project by set dates. Hearing a case pertaining to the multi-billion-rupee project, CJP Nisar said he would love to travel in the train after its inauguration.
There is no doubt that despite propaganda campaign unleashed by some vested interests on political considerations, Orange Line project would prove to be a valuable gift for people of the provincial capital and people elsewhere in the country also want to have similar gifts as it is also their right to have decent and comfortable travel facilities at affordable fare. Despite the fact that it was people-oriented development project, Orange Line has been targeted through different tactics delaying its completion significantly. Initially, it was propagated that a provincial project, meant for just people of Lahore, is being undertaken under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) but this proved to be a false accusation as it is being financed by the provincial government. Then some elements knocked at the doors of the judiciary to get the work stopped on the plea that it would cause damage to archaeological sites of Lahore. The litigation resulted into undue delay but despite the fact that the court gave a go ahead signal for its completion, practical work stands jeopardized mainly because of lack of commitment on the part of the new Government. Orange Line and hundreds of other developmental projects are suffering due to unwise decision of the authorities concerned to either wind them up or slash funding for them. The test run of the project was done in April 2018 and by now it should have been formally inaugurated but regrettably, according to a provincial minister, it would now be completed in July 2019. The work needs to be expedited as billions of rupees have been spent on infrastructure and other related facilities.

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