LAHORE: The Punjab government has saved almost one billion US dollar from the project cost of Orange Line Metro Train as compared to the previous government’s underground Rapid Mass Transit System (RMTS) project prepared in 2005.
Well-placed official sources told APP that 27 kilometres long underground train RMTS project had been prepared with an estimated cost of Rs 230 billion in 2005. The incumbent government of PML-N after coming into power in 2008, introduced Metro Bus and Orange Line Train projects to resolve public transport problems of the provincial capital.
First Metro Bus project was completed with Rs 30 billion in 2013 and the second one, the Orange Line project was signed with the Chinese firms with an estimated cost of Rs 165 billion approximately 1.5 dollars which is one billion dollar less than the previous government’s plan.
Sources added that the Punjab government saved this huge amount by changing the design of the project including change of route from Ferozepur Road to the Raiwind- Multa n Road towards the northern parts of the city besides shifting the track from underground to the elevated path etc. The new project has been finalized to widen the area of coverage of the train with the aim to facilitate more people, sources maintained.
The 27-km long Lahore Orange Line Metro Train will be constructed on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis while work on this mega project will be started by end of July this year.
A consortium of Chinese firms in collaboration with the Metro Bus Authority and the Punjab government will complete this project which is the biggest project of its kind worth Rs 165 billion.
The Chinese consortium hired the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) for the construction of track and other related works while they will run it for a period of 25 years on BOT basis.
It is pertinent to mention here that it is the largest project of mass transit in the country in which China is going to invest a huge amount on BOT basis.
Orange Line Train is part of the Metro network in Lahore and when completed, it will connect Raiwind, Multan Road, Mcleod Road, Lahore Junction railway station and the Grand Trunk Road. It will be the first line of the Lahore Metro, which is country’s first mass rapid transit train system.
It will also be financed and developed by the Chinese government.
The corridor will be capable of accommodating two trains running both up and down the track, ferrying up to 30,000 passengers per hour.
The Orange Line Metro will run on a 27.1 kilometre track, of which 25.4 kilometres will be elevated. The service will initially benefit around 250,000 passengers a day and this capacity will be increased to 500,000 passengers daily by 2025.