Lahore metro train faces eight-month delay

Published: August 24, 2016
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Labourers at work on an Orange Line Metro Train site. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Labourers at work on an Orange Line Metro Train site. PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE: Completion of the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project is likely to be delayed by eight months, even if a favourable verdict is rendered by the Supreme Court on the government’s appeal against a Lahore High Court division bench order barring construction within 200 feet of heritage sites until after a fresh heritage impact assessment, preferably in consultation with UNESCO.

A member of the OLMT steering committee told The Express Tribune that the lawyer for the government were preparing a petition to challenge the LHC order in the apex court. He said the government would file its petition next week.

LHC stops metro train construction near 11 historic sites

Talking to The Express Tribune, Shahid Saleem, a contractor for the OLMT Package-1, said, “There are stay orders against construction at 12 points along the metro train route. The critical ones are near The Mall crossing. Construction of the three-storey underground central station should have started in October 2015 but the site has not been cleared yet.”

“The government and the Chinese contractors are pushing local contractors to complete the project on time but it may not be possible,” he said. He said construction of the central station would take at least eight months.

“Building an underground barrel and multi-storey station is an enormous task,” he said.

Muhammad Azhar Siddique, counsel for the original petitioners, said his clients had also decided to approach the Supreme Court to challenge the metro train project on environmental grounds. He said the government had not followed legal course in this regard.

Heritage sites: LHC sets aside NOCs for Orange Line project

“It initiated construction before getting an environment impact assessment,” he said.

“According to several experts, the project will adversely affect the environment,” he said.

He said, “It is hard to predict how a decision might come from the apex court but it is clear that the project has several road blocks ahead. These include petitions questioning transparency in award of contracts and stay orders against land acquisition.”

The 27-kilometre Orange Line Metro Train project is estimated to cost $1.65 billion and is being funded through a Chinese soft loan.

The project is part of the metro network in the city. It will connect Raiwind Road, Multan Road, McLeod Road, the City railway station and the Grand Trunk Road.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • syed & syed
    Aug 25, 2016 - 3:22AM

    Starting from Raiwind will touch Jati Umra. Stil there is time to have under ground train service even 10 kilometers instead of 25. Wil Shahbaz Shareef wake upRecommend

  • riz
    Aug 25, 2016 - 8:40AM

    Hindrance in development projects for politics is not appreciableRecommend

  • Bhatti
    Aug 25, 2016 - 10:12AM

    @syed & syed:

    do you hear yourself?? I mean seriously??Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Aug 25, 2016 - 10:51AM

    @riz:
    So any development project which violates the rules and regulations, law etc should go unchecked?!! What childish argument!Recommend

  • ishrat salim
    Aug 25, 2016 - 1:33PM

    @riz:

    This is not a development project but a political project to show off instead of focusing on health & education, whose impact is not seen & the poor people keep on suffering…Recommend

  • shakil
    Aug 25, 2016 - 3:15PM

    Sharifs has ruined the Lahore skyline and its heritage. first they made a train project into elevated bus to to finish in time for election without thinking long term to have proper mass transit in place. now they again repeating the same, this can be achievable to more underground sections so it doesn’t destroy the city above and its historic places. This is the prime reason to create underground train lines, but at they wish to do it quickly without long term planning for the city they wish to rush and cut down trees, historic places on the way.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Aug 25, 2016 - 4:36PM

    These dark forces are free to create hindrances but this project and every other project will be completed. The enemies of progress and development will be defeated. Except Shalamar Bagh, Chowburji and Fort, no other site is important. Majority of these so called historical sites are already in ruins and no one in Lahore even knows their existence.Recommend

  • Hira
    Aug 25, 2016 - 5:02PM

    A city that has power outages, a project might destroy the history & tourist sites of Lahore and has turned one of the most peaceful and green city into a concrete park; should not be called development. Its been constructed with a LOAN, the government did not have the cash flow to fund it itself. the LOAN will be returned \but from where? Your Taxes will fund it , while YOu are still paying to ride the train!Recommend

  • viranda
    Aug 25, 2016 - 6:07PM

    @Hira:
    Tourists? :D :D Where do you find them? In Lhr museum?Recommend

  • Nad
    Aug 25, 2016 - 6:28PM

    I am simply baffled by the apathy shown by the sharifs of raiwind towards the problems of ordinary people.It seems transport is the only issue left to be resolved.motorways,metro,orange train.and that too only for one city.Recommend

  • Shakil Ahmed
    Aug 25, 2016 - 9:45PM

    @Nad:
    Come on its pays good kickbacks in offshore accounts!Recommend

  • Furkan Awan
    Aug 25, 2016 - 10:28PM

    Surely it was bound to delay as the Opposition parties especially PTI’s constant demo’s were obstructing the process of prosperity Recommend

  • stevenson
    Aug 25, 2016 - 10:38PM

    @Nad: If you had any idea of how common people whether in Lahore or Rawalpindi enjoy and appreciate Metro Bus you would retract your comments. Imagine being a poor labourer and being stuck in traffic for 3 – 4 hours a day. Now comes along Metro Mus and you have a 1/2 hour trip and time to spend with family, leisure and work. Most people who oppose mass public transport will never use it so they talk about hospitals, schools and electricity even though this is the only government that is trying to do something for these spheres too.Recommend

  • Yusuf
    Aug 26, 2016 - 1:53AM

    Lahore is becoming too polluted and conjested.I’m leaving Lahore to enjoy fresh air in Islamabad.Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Aug 27, 2016 - 5:51PM

    @Bhatti: Yes. Have you ever been to Raiwind by road. JU is next to ganda nalla. This was our hunting place till 1960Recommend

  • ishrat salim
    Aug 28, 2016 - 1:48PM

    @stevenson:

    For the poor & general public, hospitals, schools & employment & electricity is more important than these expensive mode of transport & that too heavily subsidized by the govt & this subsidy is covered by taxes & who pays these taxes, you, me & the public through indirect taxation. Not the rich & the elite class nor Mr NS or SS or their cronies…go & see PIMS & Punjab institute of Cardiology & other govt hospitals. If you think the govt is doing something, why not send your family there for treatment, send your kids to those govt schools & let your kids & family travel on these metros. Recommend

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