Pakistan has received another installment of a soft loan in the form of Rs5 billion from the China’s Exim Bank for the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT).
Punjab government is committed to complete the metro train project before general elections 2018. The government has also earmarked Rs93 billion, the biggest allocation for any development project in the province. Data shows it is the biggest allocation for a single development project in the history.
Around 70% of the ground civil works have already been completed on the 27-kilometre long metro train project. Chinese contractors of the OLMT project had also started laying rail tracks in the depot area near Dera Gujjran as the first shipment of passenger wagons is expected to reach Pakistan by mid-July.
Around 82% of the Ground civil works on OLMT Package-1 (from Dera Gujjran to Chauburji) have been completed, while 50% of construction works on Package-2 (from Chauburji to Ali Town) were also done. Similarly, 73% and 64.4% development works had been completed on package-3 (OLMT Depot) and package-4 (stabling yard).
Orange Line Metro Train: Majority of trains to reach city by December
Project progress highlights 341 transoms and 641 u-tub girders (in which the rail track will be laid) had been precast. At the moment, contractors were rapidly installing them for timely completion of the project. The OLMT package-2 contractors had also completed piling and pile caps. Right now they were making preparation for pre-casting of 819 u-tub girders and 395 transoms for the remaining portion. Road reconstruction between Chauburji and Thokar Niaz Baig had also been completed.
The 27-kilometre Orange Line Metro Train Project is being funded through s $1.65 billion (Rs165 billion) soft loan from China’s Exim Bank.
Project documents indicate around $1 billion would be directly transferred to the Chinese contractors, CR-NORINCO, for procurement of the rolling stock, while the remaining amount would be transferred to Pakistan for construction of track and provision of allied infrastructure.
The project is part of the city metro network 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 the country’s first mass rapid transit train system.
Out of the total distance of the train track, approximately 24 kilometres of the track is elevated and nearly a kilometre is underground. The project has 26 stations out of which Anarkali and Central Station are underground. The endpoints of the route will be Ali Town at Raiwind and Dera Gujran on GT Road.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2017.
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