The delay in the construction of Orange Line Metro System in Lahore cost Rs 11 billion to Punjab government. Everyone knows that since taking power PTI government gives the impression that it is trying to save money through austerity drive. They even are saving money on biscuits and snacks in PM house and other offices. But its government in Punjab has failed to complete the orange train project on time and resulted in the increase of project. This delay has cost Punjab government Rs 11 billion. Delay in construction of Orange Line Metro System has escalated the premium cost of the project by 50 percent.
The estimated premium cost of the project was Rs22 billion but it has increased to Rs30 billion. An additional Rs3 billion has been allocated for the construction of footpaths for this project adding the total premium cost to Rs33 billion.
It was a flagship project of CM Shahbaz Sharif who tried to complete the project before the July 2018 general elections. But legal battles in Lahore High Court and Supreme Court delayed the completion of project on time.
It is an open secret that PTI leadership never liked this mass public transport project. Now they slowed the work on the project which increases the cost. The government which take credit to sell buffalos at PM house to save some money now spent Rs11 billions of tax payers’ money of its incompetence and lack of interest. It is wastage of precious money. This money could have sent on education or on health. Rs11 billion wasted as the result of criminal negligence. But no one is ready to accept the responsibility.
The Orange Line Metro System has two components — CPEC component and local component. The first component of Orange Line is part of the CPEC project whereas the second part is to be funded by the Punjab government. The estimated cost of first component, which includes the civil and E&M works is unchanged i.e. $1,458,141,720 ($1.458 billion). The entire funding for CPEC component has been provided by the Chinese government.
However, the estimated premium cost of local component, which has to be funded by the government of Punjab has been escalated from Rs22 billion to Rs33 billion. A 50% increase in the cost of this project. In order to cut the project’s expenditure, the sitting PTI Punjab government has slashed some components of the project but even then the cost has escalated by 50 percent.
As per the PC-1 of the project, the Punjab government has to install a 0.4 kilometer long Walkalator from Lahore Railway Station to Metro Bus Station for connecting the two junctions with Orange Line station. However, the PTI government has dropped this from the master plan. Similarly, a passenger transfer section was to be built between Anarkali and MAO but the present government has slashed this component from the project as well. The project cost would have escalated further if these two sections were built as per the original plan.
According to Punjab Mass Transit Authority (PMTA), 96.5 percent work on Orange Line Metro Project has been completed and it is on the punch list stage. They cannot give an exact deadline for the inauguration of this project but the Orange Line Metro System is almost complete. It depends on the present government when it decides to complete the remaining part and inaugurate the project.
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27 September, 2019