Shahbaz unveils historic Orange Metro Train

Khalid Butt

THE energetic and futuristic Punjab Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif, continues to keep his opponents dumbfounded with his relentless and truly historic achievements. After his recent series of inaugurations of remarkable power projects across the province and notably at Haveli Bahadur Shah in the Jhang District, there is no stopping of his getting on with other equally historic projects. The most notable and singular project to transform the City of Lahore is the historic Orange Line Metro Train, which was unveiled on Sunday by Shahbaz Sharif. He rightly felt the project as vital by the ruling PML-N, to retain its hold and vote bank in the province.
Addressing the unveiling ceremony of the project, the chief minister said that the benefits of the project will be immense as nearly 0.25 million commuters will travel via Orange Line Train upon completion, making commutes easy for everyone.
Terming it the best intra-city project, the chief minister said that a distance of 27 kilometers from Darogawala to Thokar Niaz Baig will be covered in merely 45 minutes. He said that millions of people will travel daily with OLMT and those who were planning to buy vehicles and motorbikes to travel at this route will now use this transport which as a result will save fuel worth billions of rupees.
CM questioned the critics that cities like Moscow, New York, London and Paris are cherished for their transport; then why should Pakistan is be deprived of a similar thing, he said. He said that Pakistan in its true essence can’t be turned into the country as dreamt by Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam until provision of basic necessities is ensured for its common people. He added that the ancestors of Pakistan had made numerous sacrifices for the country and it cannot be built without working day and night for the common man.
Moreover, he vowed that despite conspiracies being hatched against the development projects, the journey of progress and prosperity will continue successfully. He said when metro bus project was under construction, our opponents called it ‘jangla bus’ and accused the Punjab government of corruption. Interestingly, our opponents then went on to announce metro bus project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, following the lead of Punjab. “However, there is {Still} no sign of metro bus in Peshawar,” he claimed.
Prior to holding of the ceremony, the chief minister tweeted praise for the mega project, He said: “Arrival of first metro train represents a development worth celebration. I will be shortly speaking to the people at its unpacking ceremony IA.” Shehbaz lauded the mega project terming it as an attempt to create equality between the masses and the privileged rich of the country and an opportunity whereby the living standards of the poor can be improved. He said in another tweet, “AII development projects either completed or under construction have a singular aim of lifting people’s standard of living & it is our mission”.
The 27 trains will be made available for public use on December 25 when the project will be officially launched. A single train has the capacity to carry 1,000 people, out of which 200 can be seated while 800 can commute while standing.
Launched in May 2014 by the chief minister, in collaboration with a Chinese company, the project will be het country’s first metro line. The Orange Line Train project’s total cost stands at 165 billion rupees, out of which China would provide a major chunk of amount, Rs. 150 billion to the Punjab government under a soft loan agreement. In April, the Supreme Court of Pakistan was expected to deliver a decisive verdict on a petition regarding the damage caused to heritage sites due to the construction of the project.
However, the SC reserved its judgment and asked the Punjab government to file a comprehensive report to the court, detailing measures it would take to address the civil society’s concerns over the matter. The CM said that we will abide by the order of court; however it is not fair to deprive a common man of prosperity and development who gets up early in the morning in search of honest sustenance. “I think that the Metro Bus is a revolutionary project in the transport sector of our country”, CM shared and further added that it is very unfortunate that critics the political opponents are trying to hinder its way for their vested interest.

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