The Lahore Orange Line Train completed two years of its operation on Tuesday as it was launched officially on the 25th of October 2020 then up to 50 million passengers have traveled on the train since the commercial launch of the project. Punjab Mass transit Authority (PMA), the company responsible for the operation and maintenance of the project organized a ceremony here on Tuesday, which was attended by the counsel general in Lahore, Chinese engineers, Pakistani staff, senior officials of the Punjab Mass transit Authority (PMA) and others.
A representative of the Orange Line Metro Train said the train has cumulatively traveled 25 million kilometers, completing 200,000 trips with 99.99 percent punctuality. The company achieved 97 percent of staff localization and 50 million ridership. A senior official of the PMA said up to 20 million passengers used the facility between Oct 25, 2020, and Oct 25, 2021. But from Oct 25, 2021, to Oct 25, 2022, the number of passengers increased to 30 million, which shows passengers are switching to the metro train system due to increasing oil prices. Films about the project were screened at the ceremony, and awards were given to outstanding staffers.
The train is equipped with the latest hi-tech machinery and trains operate daily from 6 am to 10 pm every five minutes from Ali Town to Dera Gujran through 26 stations. The project was constructed by the China Railway Group Co Ltd, and the China North Industries, while its operations and maintenance are managed by Norinco International with Guangzhou Metro Group and Daewoo Pakistan Express Bus Service Ltd. The project has created more than 2,000 local jobs.
The project is no doubt one of the ongoing projects of the country and has won many awards paving the way for other cities to incorporate the modern hi-tech transportation system. The project also secured a top award at the Brands of the Year Awards of 2021, the ‘Emerging Brand of the Year’ in the category of urban rail transit, and the ‘CEO of the Year 2021’, awarded by the Brands Foundation.
appointed: The Punjab government has appointed and notified new members of the Punjab Mass transit Authority (PMA) after the chief minister formally accorded approval.
According to a notification issued by the transport department, the new members of the authority have been appointed under sections 3(6)(b)(d) & (e) of the PMA Act 2015 read with item 14 (b), sub-item (a) of the third column of the fourth schedule of Punjab Rules of Business, 2011.
The members notified were retired Col Ghazanfar Abbas (MPA, PP-128), who will also work as vice chairman of the authority, Ghulam Ali Asghar Khan Lehry (MPA, PP-80), Chaudhry Iftikhar Hussain Gondal (MPA, PP-81), Shamim Aftab (MPA, W-303), Khadija Umer (W-362), Sohaib Sheikh (Director Consumer Marketing & Corporate Communication, High Noon Group), Ahsan Ali Chughtai (senior banker / financial sector expert) and Khawar Hayat (Managing Director, New Staff Line Coaches).
The project was initiated with a signed memorandum of understanding between the governments of Pakistan and China in May 2014. Financing for the project was secured in December 2015 when China’s Exim Bank agreed to provide a soft loan of $1.55 billion for the project. Construction works on the project began in October 2015. Habib Construction Services was awarded the first phase in October 2015 for Rs. 21.49 billion (US$94 million). In October 2016, Phase 2 of the project was awarded to ZKB Engineers and Constructors for civil works between Chauburji and Ali Town at a cost of 2000.39 billion rupees.
On 12 January 2017, 7 labourers perished at a makeshift residence for Orange Line construction workers. CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive rolled out the first of 27 trains for the metro on 16 May 2017.
Testing and trial runs began in March 2018. In May 2018, Punjab Chief Minister of the time Shahbaz Sharif was present at the first test-run of Lahore’s Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT).On 25 October 2020, Orange Line Train was inaugurated by then Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar.
In an anti-encroachment operation launched jointly by the Pakistan Railways (PR) Police and the Lahore division office near Imamia Colony, the officials retrieved 12-Kanal commercial state land worth Rs120 million from the land grabbers. The officials also dismantled several constructions made by the illegal occupants at the PR land, according to a spokesman for the PR police.