LAHORE - Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Tuesday that some “political elements” were conspiring to deprive people of Lahore of the Orange Line Metro Train.

The PML-N leader said the legal tussle triggered by an opposition party hindered construction work at 11 stations of the metro train despite a lapse of more than two years.

“You move in luxury vehicles and live in palaces. You cannot understand how an ordinary person reaches his workplace. You failed to launch a (similar) bus service in Peshawar and you are conspiring to deprive citizens of Lahore from Orange Line Metro Train,” Shehbaz said while referring to PTI leader Imran Khan.

The chief minister went on to say, “Do not snatch the right of latest transport facilities from people of Lahore. The work has been halted at 11 metro points in Lahore only because of you and one of your party workers, (who) moved the court and got a stay (order).”

Shehbaz stated this while addressing a ceremony in connection with launch of a motorcycle ambulance service at the Punjab Emergency Services Headquarters at Shama Chowk on Ferozepur Road. Several high ranking officials, including provincial ministers and parliamentary secretaries, were present on this occasion.

Also, the chief minister said that political elements had done nothing for the metro bus project in Peshawar even after passage of more than four years. “You cannot understand travelling problems of the common man. It is sheer hypocrisy which the nation will not tolerate,” he said.

Without naming PTI chief Imran Khan, Shehbaz said, “You do not know how a widow earns her livelihood and how a student makes it to an educational institution. (Everyday, at least) 250,000 passengers will use the Orange Line Metro Train and their total number will swell to 500,000 very soon.”

Earlier, Shehbaz inaugurated a free of cost motorbike ambulance service to be supervised by the Rescue-1122 Department. Later, he visited the command and control centre of the Punjab Emergency Services and inspected its different sections. On this occasion, he was given a briefing about free motorbike ambulance service along with details of necessary medical equipment provided for lifesaving purposes.

Also, the chief minister witnessed the march-past of the motorbike ambulance service and a practical demonstration of rescuers. Announcing launch of the motorbike ambulance service in all 36 districts of the province, the chief minister said the scope of this service would soon be extended to every district of the province. The chief minister announced a monthly risk allowance for the rescuers.

Addressing the ceremony, the chief minister claimed recruitment of the staff for this service had been made purely on merit while master-trainers were provided training in Turkey. “I am thankful to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdag as well as the health ministry for their support in launch of this service,” the chief minister said.

Shehbaz said the idea of motorbike ambulance service came to his mind when a woman of Kasur district failed to avail an ambulance service and finally died at Jinnah Hospital.

“I felt bitter pain and sorrow over this tragic incident then and I decided to handover the ambulance service of different hospitals to Rescue 1122. Rescue 1122 has taken over this responsibility and now the system of shifting patients to hospitals has been sufficiently improved. Today, free motorbike ambulance service has been launched to step up this system,” he added.

The motorbike ambulance service, said to be the first of its kind in South Asia, was launched in nine divisional headquarters of the Punjab province. As a pilot project, the service was formally started in Lahore and it will be launched in rest of the divisions within next few weeks.

In a phased programme, the service will be launched across the province with some 900 motorbikes. According to officials, this service was launched to facilitate people and in case of any emergency, timely first-aid will be provided in alleyways. In case of emergency, the motorbike ambulance service will provide immediate rescue and first-aid in congested localities and narrow passageway. Due to this service, medical aid will be provided to the affected citizens well in time and the ambulance will also be available.