Punjab Mass Transit Authority (PMTA) is all set to complete handing and taking over procedures from the Chinese Joint venture, CR-Norinco next week, paving a final way for much-awaited public launch of the CPEC's Lahore Orange Line Metro Train, on October 25.
In an exclusive interview, PMTA General Manager (Operations) Muhammad Ozair Shah said that except small magnitude work, almost all handover and takeover modalities and processes involving electrical, mechanical and civil task were done precisely. "There are few things unfulfilled so far. What is left to be executed is of minor values. Anyhow within the span of next week starting from October 12, each and every step will be concluded. Then PMTA will officially take control of Orange Line Metro Train," he clarified.
About the completion acceptance certificate, he revealed that PMTA was giving final touches to prescribed mechanism as per agreement. He pointed out that it might be taking two or three days to get the purpose done.
On a query, he said that the Chinese team had trained around 800 Pakistani staff including drivers in two batches. The staff was fully capable to perform up to mark, he mentioned. He claimed that October 25 was the final Commercial Operation Date (COD) of Orange Train to come what may.
It merits to mention that all required tests to meet satisfactory benchmarks have already been completed. The benchmarks as per the EPC contract are regarding electrical and mechanical (E&M) installations, system commissioning, test & commissioning and test run. As per Urban Transport expert Ali Gaznavi, CPEC's transport project "Orange Line Metro Train" (OLMT) is among the best people-centric project of China Pakistan economic corridor that will be having spontaneous and direct effects on the lives of common man suffering meager, messy and hazardous travelling woes in Lahore, highly-urbanized city of Pakistan.
Pivoting on most congested and populated areas from Ali Town, Allama Iqbal Town, Samanabad, Chuburji, McLeod Road, Lakshmi Chowk, Nicolson Road to Dera Gujran, metro train will facilitate more than 250,000 passengers daily. The beneficiary number will be increased up to 500,000 soon.
Promising new taste of transportation free from traffic traps, orange train service will curtail travel time and ease out traffic congestion and gridlocks. Cutting travel time from two-and-a-half hours to 45 minutes, it will run at 80km per hour covering a distance of 27km with stopovers at 26 stations along the route.