LAHORE: The Punjab government has given March 31 as a deadline for the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project contractor for the completion of the multi-storey underground GPO Station.
After inspecting the progress of development works on Sunday, Punjab Chief Minister Advisor and OLMT Steering Committee Chairman Khawaja Ahmad Hassaan said the chief minister has ordered an increase in the pace of development works of the metro train.
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He added that the government has decided to open Mall Road for traffic by March 31 after completing underground construction of the metro station.
He highlighted that the construction of elevated metro track near Shalimar Gardens has been completed after Gulabi Bagh and Buddhu's Tomb at Grand Trunk Road, where work had earlier been stopped after a restraining order by the court.
The CM’s advisor told reporters that construction of 12the -kilometre long elevated portion of the metro track in package-1, from Dera Gujjran to Macleod Road, is near completion as 652 out of the total 670 u-tub girders have so far been installed for construction of viaduct for the train. The remaining girders will also be installed within the two days to fill the gap of 200 meters near Lakshmi Chowk, he added.
He said 2,000 piles out of a total 2,300 have so been constructed so far for the structure of GPO station and barrel-2 of the 1.7-kilometer long cut and cover section of the track from Mecleod Road to Chaburji.
A retaining wall has also been constructed for the preservation of tomb of Baba Mouj Derya situated near the track and work for fixing stone on façade of Anarkali Station has been commenced.
He went on to say that all 27 train sets for the metro train project have been dispatched to Pakistan from China.
Around 19 of them have already reached Lahore while the rest of them are in transit from Karachi.
OLMT Project Director Hammadul Hasan, National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK) Manager Muhammad Furqan and Habib Construction Services Chief Executive Shahid Saleem were also present on the occasion.
The 27-kilometer metro train project is estimated to cost over $1.65 billion (Rs165 billion), which is being funded through a loan by China's Exim Banks.
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According to project documents, around $1 billion will be directly transferred to the Chinese contractors, CR-NORINCO, for procurement of the rolling stock while the remaining amount will 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
Published in The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2018.
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