In view of the rising political temperature ahead of 2018 general elections, the Punjab government has fixed an ambitious deadline of December 31 for the completion of Lahore Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project. Contractors and engineers working on the project declared the deadline as impossible in the backdrop of the sluggish performance of the project’s Package-II and a pending court case.
Speaking in the projects weekly progress review meeting on Wednesday, the OLMT Steering Committee Chairman Khawaja Ahmad Hassaan said the first metro train has already arrived in the city and soon it will be running on track to facilitate 250,000 commuters on a daily basis. He announced that three packages of the metro train will be completed by November, while Package-II will be completed by December.
Speaking to source, engineers working on the project termed this timeline unrealistic and impossible to achieve. An engineer highlighted that although an overall 76% civil works of the project have been completed, most of the construction was done on Package-1.
Responding to a question, he said unless the court gave the green signal and maximum resources were used, including machinery and manpower, it will be impossible to complete the construction work at all 11 sites before March or April, 2018. “However, if the government wanted to run the metro train on the completed elevated track along Grand Trunk Road, it may start operations limited to that area.”
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Civil Society Forum (PCSF) in a statement, expressed shock over Shehbaz Sharif’s alleged call to “public violence” in the event that a Supreme Court’s ruling did not sanction the metro train project plan.