ISLAMABAD  -   Granting a month’s time, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered for completion of the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) Project by May 20.

The court also directed the three construction companies involved in the project to submit a guarantee of Rs 10 million each in this regard. The court warned the companies that guarantees shall stand seized if the project is not completed by May 20.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard the case pertaining to the OLMT and expressed displeasure over the delay in completion of the project.

Justice Ahmed observed that if the contractors don’t work, they should be picked up and thrown away or put in jail.

Justice Ahmed further observed that currently no work is being carried out and the contractors are seeking time for completion of the project again and again.

He told the counsel for contractors that earlier the contractors submitted an undertaking with the guarantee but did not fulfil the commitment.

He told the contractors to submit a guarantee of Rs1 billion each. However, Advocate Naeem Bukhari, representing the construction companies, pleaded that the companies cannot afford to submit such guarantee. He further informed the bench that the companies have already submitted guarantees of Rs 2 billion.

Seeking more time, the counsel contended to issue orders of arrest if the deadline is not fulfilled this time.

The bench was also irked over the performance of Project Director Fazal Haleem.

Justice Ahmed remarked that the OLMT’s Project Director was being blackmailed by the construction companies due to which the work had been delayed.

The top court observed that Justice (retd) Jamshed or Justice Abdul Sattar Asghar should be made the head of the technical committee on the project.

It is further remarked that if the current head, Justice Zahid Hussain, wants to continue in his role, the Punjab government should look into it.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan, member of the bench, observed that a hefty amount has been spent on the project adding that it is the project of national interest.

Justice Gulzar questioned if there is any mechanism to check the quality and standard of construction work in the project.

The project director informed the bench that the consultants have been supervising the quality of construction work in the project.

While adjourning the hearing of the case for two weeks, the top court granted time of one month for completion of project.