Good news on track: Lahore to get Pakistan’s first metro train

Published: May 23, 2014
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The Pakistani and Chinese presidents look on as Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif signs the metro train agreement. PHOTO: PPI

The Pakistani and Chinese presidents look on as Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif signs the metro train agreement. PHOTO: PPI

LAHORE: 

Fifteen months after the introduction of Metro Bus Service, the Punjab government on Thursday moved towards launching the country’s first metro train by signing an agreement with a Chinese company.

The work on the $1.6 billion Orange Line Metro Train Project would start by the end of this year, according to the agreement signed in Shanghai between Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and the National Development and Reform Commission China.President Mamnoon Hussain and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping were also present. According to a statement, the train will run on a 27.1-kilometre track, of which 25.4 kilometres will be elevated.

The service, scheduled to be begin within 27 months, will initially benefit around 250,000 passengers a day. The capacity will be increased to 500,000 passengers a day by 2025.

The train’s route will cover Thokar Niaz Beg, Multan Road, Chauburji, The Mall, Lakshmi Chowk, Railway Station, Garhi Shahu, GT Road, Pakistan Mint and Dera Gujjaran

Speaking at the agreement signing ceremony, Sharif said the Chinese government would provide funds for the project. The Punjab government would facilitate Chinese companies who would design, construct and monitor the project, he said.

He said the project would prove a landmark in the country’s history. He said it would provide modern travel facilities to the people and also bring about a revolution in the transport sector. He said the government had been working with friendly countries to provide improved means of travel.

“The Orange Line Metro Train Project is part of the government’s agenda to work for the welfare of people,” the chief minister said.

High standards of construction, speed and transparency would be ensured and efforts  made to complete the project on time, he said.

Sharif said like the Metro Bus Service, the metro train would also be run in other cities after Lahore.

“Access to better, comfortable travel facilities is the right of citizens. The metro train is a step in this direction.”

Earlier, speaking at a meeting with the Chinese president, the chief minister said elimination of terrorism was imperative to curb poverty. “We can defeat terrorism and extremism with education, progress and prosperity.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2014.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Imran
    May 23, 2014 - 10:31AM

    Great project
    only concern is that cost of operating train will have to heavily subsidized. When every National entity is on for privatization, government heavy spending for 27kms will always be rightly criticized

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  • Ali
    May 23, 2014 - 10:43AM

    Mr Prime Minister & Chief Minister of Lahore, FYI Lahore is not Punjab and Punjab is not Pakistan. As a resident of central punjab (Sargodha), it pisses me off that all of Punjab’s development budget is spent on one city called lahore.

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  • Common Pakistani
    May 23, 2014 - 11:21AM

    The difference security situation and good governance make in a city; Karachi had circular railway and trams when other cities were just lagging behind. If the transport mafia in Karachi would allow, the cost to revive these would cost less, payback period would be much lower and more people would be catered.

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  • Ahmad
    May 25, 2014 - 6:40PM

    First of all the project us unnecessary, still if it is decided at least the color of the metro train must indicate the color of Pakistan or at least of Panjab which is Green. Instead of Orang , which is I don’t understand where it fits to our country’s recognition .
    I conceded the orange color represents India’s favorite color.
    Hope some one do think about it too.

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  • JAM
    May 26, 2014 - 1:44PM

    @Ahmad:
    metro bus was constructed on green line. after orange line there will be blue line and purple line..

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  • Atif
    May 29, 2014 - 6:34AM

    @Ali:
    dear,
    this is the time to appreciate the govt. at on their good works and we know that Lahore is not the Whole Punjab but Lahore is the capital city of Punjab and you know very well that in Sargodha there is no need for metro bus or metro train at this time but we need also this time good infrastructure in the city and i personally request to the CM Punjab please look after my loving city Sargodha.

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