Orange Line’s Package-2 contractor told to start construction

Company has made arrangements to resume construction activity at the earliest

Imran Adnan December 20, 2016
Workers busy in construction of a flyover for Metro Train’s Orange Line. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: After getting the go-ahead from the Lahore High Court, the Lahore Development Authority has asked the contractor for Lahore Metro’s Orange Line Package-2 to restart construction.

The previous contractor had completed around 44% of the ground civil works before its contract was cancelled by the government. The remaining work would now be completed by the new contractor.

Karachi's Orange Line BRT renamed after Edhi

LDA officials said it was a challenging task for the new contractor but things were still under control. The authority would try to stick to the original timeline and complete the project by December 2017.

Being the lowest bidder, ZKB-Reliable had won the contract for the remaining works of the metro train’s Package-2 between Chauburji and Ali Town, but it had been awaiting the contract award letter from the LDA, Reliable Engineering Services CEO Chaudhry Waseem Afzal told The Express Tribune.

He said the company was expecting the issuance of its contract letter today (Tuesday). It has, however, already made arrangements to mobilise resources to resume construction activity at the earliest.

The project’s Steering Committee Chairman Khawaja Ahmad Hassaan said the court had allowed the LDA to award contract to the new contractor and directed the previous contractor, Maqbool-Calson JV, to approach civil court for settlement of disputes.

He said the government or the LDA did not want to take such a strict action against the previous contractor but there were multiple issues, including slow progress, quality and workmanship concerns that were hampering the project timeline and earning a bad name for the government.

Maqbool-Calson, through its counsel Advocate Taffazul Haider Rizvi, has once again moved the LHC against the authorities to suspend the blacklisting of the joint venture and their parent companies. The LDA had blacklisted both companies and asked the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) not to renew enlistment of these companies as contractors.

Under construction: Orange Line project half way through

The counsel contended the parent companies of the joint venture were handling projects worth approximately Rs16 billion all over Pakistan at the moment. The blacklisting would be tantamount to the commercial killing of these companies and would affect megaprojects all over Pakistan, he argued.

On behalf of the Punjab government, Assistant Advocate General Sultan Mahmood attempted to justify the blacklisting order, but the court had directed the government to file report and comments.

The 27-kilometre Metro Train’s Orange Line is estimated to cost $1.65 billion and is being funded through a Chinese soft loan. The project is part of the metro train network in Lahore, and will connect Raiwind Road, Multan Road, McLeod Road, the City railway station and the Grand Trunk Road once completed.

Overall 56% of the civil works of the project has been completed with 71% work completed on Package-1 from Dera Gujjaran and Chauburji; 44% on Package-2, 55% of Package-3; and 54.5% work completed on Package-4.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 20th, 2016.


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