LAHORE: The Punjab government has granted an overall tax exemption of Rs112.9 million to people affected by the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project.
Provincial tax authorities, on the orders Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, granted the exemption 2,673 persons whose businesses were affected by the ongoing construction activities. The government granted a property tax wavier of Rs112 million and professional tax exemption of Rs0.93 million.
This was revealed by OLMT Steering Committee Chairman Khawaja Ahmad Hassaan as he addressed the project’s weekly progress review meeting on Wednesday. On the chief minister’s orders, he said provincial tax authorities were carrying out another survey to provide relief packages to small shopkeepers and roadside vendors who did not fall into the category of either property or professional taxpayers.
Hassaan directed OLMT contractors to expedite the pace of road construction between Samanabad and Chowk Yateem Khana for the smooth flow of traffic along the construction site on Multan Road. He also called on the departments concerned and contractors to get their staff trained by Rescue 1122 to adopt safety measures in case of any untoward incident.
Meeting participants were told that two-thirds of ground civil works of the project had been completed and efforts were under way to start the country’s first metro train operation by December 25, 2017.
National Engineering Services Pakistan representatives told meeting participants that precisely 66.5% of civil work on the project has been completed, thus far. Progress on package-I (from Dera Gujjaran, G.T.Road to Chouburji) was 81.5%, while 49.5% of package-II from Choburji to Ali Town was complete.
About 72% was completed at Depot near Dera Gujran, while progress at Stabling Yard near Ali Town was 62.8%.
It was disclosed in the meeting that the grey structure of seven elevated metro train stations had been completed along package-I and work on another four stations was in full swing. So far, 640 of the total 670 u-tub girders required for the construction of the elevated viaduct along package- had been precast, while 503 such girders had already been installed. Construction activity on the ground floor slab of the underground of Anarkali Station was underway.
The project’s Chinese contractor, CR-NORINCO, had also started the installation of escalators at the Islam Park station, besides doing electrical and mechanical works.
Form works to precast transoms and u-tubs girders required for construction of elevated train in package-II had been imported and precast of transoms had started. Construction work of four stations of this package, Chauburji, Gulshan Ravi, Samanabad and Bund Road, will be completed by June 15. The remaining nine stations will be completed by July 15.
MPA Chaudhary Shahbaz Ahmad, WASA Managing Director Chaudhry Abdul Qadeer, LDA Chief Engineer Asrar Saeed, Punjab Mass Transit Authority General Manager Syed Ozair Shah, NESPAK General Manager Salman Hafeez, TEPA Chief Engineer Saif-ur-Rehman, senior officials of LESCO, PTCL, SUI GAS, traffic police, railways, Rescue 1122, Civil Defence, Chinese Contractor CR- NOROINCO as well as representatives of the Chinese engineering consultant and local contractors attended the meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2017.