LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has said that Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) is a comfortable, modern and affordable transport for common people.
He said this here on Sunday while addressing the launching ceremony of OLMT, the engine of which arrived from China to Lahore.
The chief minister was presented with symbolic key of train at this occasion by the project manager and official of China Railways Company. The CM along with Chinese Officials inspected various parts of train.
While visiting its different portions, he said, "it as a comfortable, modern and economic transport for common people and added that Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project Lahore is actually the project of Pakistan which will facilitate millions of people daily but then again unfortunately some political opponents are trying to make this project of public welfare as a controversial one in which PTI is the most active".
"I think that Metro Bus is a revolutionary project in the transport sector of our country"; CM shared and further added that it is very unfortunate that critics and political opponents were trying to hinder its way for their vested interest.
The chief minister said that today was a historical day as for the first time in the history of Pakistan Metro Train project has been initiated to which not only Lahorites but the whole Pakistanis were looking forward.
He said that Chinese President Xi Jinping and PM in 2015 during our visit to Beijing said that Metro Train was their present for us.
Furthermore he added that China has given easy installments loan plan of 20 years for which we don't need to pay any installment in first seven years.
As many as 250,000 people would travel on a 27 KM long route from Dera Gujran to Ali town.
Passengers would reach their destination in time and parents won't worry for safe return of their children, he added.
Shehbaz Sharif said that such project had been started 175 years ago in Britain nevertheless in Pakistan it has been initiated after 70 years of its foundation.
He said that our political rivals were trying to hurdle this project of public welfare which would provide females with economic and reliable transportation and these were the people who have jeopardized 07 precious months of public by their sit-in in 2014 likewise in 2016 they tried to create chaos by their lockdown.
He said that today these people were leveling baseless allegations and unaware of the fact that hard work brings result and hollow speeches just waste the time.
He said that millions of people would travel daily through OLMT and those who were planning to buy vehicles and motorbikes to travel at this route would now use this transport which as a result would save fuel worth billions of rupees.
CM questioned the critics that people of Moscow, New-york, London and Paris were cherishing best public transport than why to deprive Pakistanis of it.
He said that Pakistan in its true essence could not be turned into the country as dreamt by Muhammad Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah until provision of basic necessities was ensured for its common people.
He said that Naizi Sahib and his team name this project as "Jangla" bus and propagated of spending hefty amount also he accused that iron being used in Metro-bus was from Iteffaq Foundry but very less he knows that this foundry had been closed 20 years earlier.
CM said that on the other side, in 2014, Nazi Sahib announced the metro bus project in Peshawar and even after 4 years, he could not even lay a brick and still no chance of this project there.
If there had been the government of PML (N), we should have started Metro-bus not only in Peshawar but Dera Ismail Khan, Abbottabad, Bannu and other cities of the KPK, he added.
He said that the paper Metro-Bus project of Peshawar which covers 23 kilometers and it costs Rs 44 billion while the Punjab government has completed 27 kilometer long Metro-Bus in Lahore in 30 billion rupees.
He said, "it is the great project of my political career for which we have struggled a lot".
He said that he won't take credit of it as it was his duty but it was a fact that minimum bid for this was Rs 2100 billion and we after having discussion with Chinese Company saved Rs 70 billion.
Earlier, the Managing Director of the Punjab Mass Transit Authority Sibteen Fazal Haleem highlighted the important aspects of OLMT and explained the utility of this project.
General Manager China Railway Construction Company Zong Fi while addressing the ceremony said that OLMT is the first project to take place in Pakistan's public transport sector and we have the support of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Government of Punjab regarding the implementation of the project.
General Manager of the ZEL Company highlighted the steps of the preparation of OLMT. Chairman Steering Committee Lahore OLMT Khawaja Ahmed Hassaan said that OLMT is the interpretation of that dream which Shehbaz Sharif dreamt in 1997 to provide the common man with travel services alike that of elites.
He said that it was easy to talk about transparency, but it was difficult to implement it and the Chief Minister of Punjab has shown it.
China Consulate General, Long Ding in his address said, "today is one of the most important days of friendship of Pakistan and China when the first set of Orange Line Metro Train has reached Lahore.
He said that this project has increased the cooperation between companies of both countries. He said that Pak-China's friendship is eternal and the project had opened the new window of economic cooperation in both countries.