Authorities undecided over OLMT fare

Construction concludes, service to start in October

Our Correspondent August 08, 2020
Construction site of Orange Line Metro Train. PHOTO: NNI


Construction of Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project has been completed after five years and the train is set to be on track by October, however, the transport and the finance department have not able to finalise the fare.

The finance department has proposed Rs70 to Rs80 fare because the government could not provide subsidy. The transport department has suggested that the fare must be kept low.

The provincial cabinet is likely to take the final decision in this regard.

Initially, the 27-kilometre-long train service is expected to carry 250,000 passengers from one place to another in the city daily.

Officials of the OLMT stated that if the coronavirus pandemic would not have occurred, the train would have been launched much earlier.

However, despite this, the work was done quickly, said an official.

All set to roll: Lahore’s Orange Line on track for 2020 launch

“The construction work for Orange Line Metro Train service has been completed while training of the staff is in progress and there have been trials of the train as well, said OLMT General Manager Ozair Shah.

“Due to coronavirus, the train has not started running yet but the arrangements have been completed,” he added. “As soon as permission is given by the government, the work will commence according to the SOPs,” said Shah.

Reportedly, the OLMT drivers and supporting staff are being trained by Chinese experts so that after the completion of the test run, local drivers and staff can do their job.

The construction work on the project was started in 2014 and it will have 26 stations. Among these, two stations will be underground and the remaining 24 on the ground.

This train will run between Ali Town and Dera Gujran. The track is 27.1km long.

The health department is likely to announce the standard operating procedures soon to run the train with minimum risk of spread of coronavirus.

Sources revealed that the train will arrive at each station after five minutes to facilitate the passengers.

As many as 22 trains will run daily, as per the authorities.

The security and ticketing system of OLMT has been outsourced. The Chinese experts will stay in Pakistan until the start of the train operation and keep reviewing it and will also train the local staff.

When the operation of OLMT would commence, it will run from 5:30am to 11:30pm.

The experts highlighted that the launch of OLMT will also reduce the traffic load on the roads.

Orange Line recruits training to resume after Eid

The sources revealed that the fare of the train has not been decided yet.

The tains will run from Ali Town to Thokar Niaz Baig, Canal View, Hanjarwal, Wahdat Road, Awan Town, Shah Noor Studio, Band Road, Samanabad, Lake Road Chauburji, GPO, Lakshmi Chowk, Railway Station, UET, Baghbanpura, Shalimar Garden, Pakistan Mint, Salamatpura and Dera Gujran.

The speed of the train has been kept at 80km per hour as per the authorities.

The Punjab government has taken a loan of $1.5 billion from the Exim Bank of China to run the OLMT. The principal amount and interest will have to be paid in 20 years.

The process of power supply from LESCO has also been completed. Power has been procured from four grid stations for the project and 80MW of power will be supplied from all the four stations so that there is no difficulty in running the train.

In this regard, backup is also being kept in the system so that the operation of the train would not stop in case of a power outage.

Following successful completion of integrated test in May, OLMT project has entered in its final phase of operation and maintenance (O&M) handover for initiating commercial operations.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2020.


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