Orange Line Metro Train unveiled

LAHORE: Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif unveiled the country’s first Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) on its arrival at Lahore in mid-October. The Chinese Consulate General and Project Manager were also present on the occasion. Official of China Railways and Project Director of Metro Train presented CM with the symbolic key.

A train engine and five coaches were handed over to the provincial government in the ceremony. Orange Line Train is equipped with engines to hit a maximum speed of 80km/hour and each coach has four entry and exit points. The metro train is expected to run on electricity and to transport up to 250,000 passengers a day. A single train has the capacity to carry 1,000 people, out of which 200 can be seated while 800 can commute while standing.

The construction for the project began in 2015 in collaboration with a Chinese at the whopping cost of $1.6 billion, the 27-kilometres rail line was set to be up and running by mid-2017 but got embroiled in a legal battle in the Lahore High

In his speech, the Chief Minister said that the project comes with an easy 20-year installment plan which has a grace period of first seven years. In other words, it means that Pakistan does not have to pay anything for the first seven years.

He said he is unable to compensate for the loss that Orange Line Train project has borne in two years as construction was halted at as many as 11 points owing to petitions filed by the opposition parties.

Before the event, he sent messages on social media lauding the project. Sharif said that the project is meant to make the underprivileged feel that “they have equal rights on the state resources as their rich counterparts… it aims to create equality.”