In a positive development, the first train under the mass-transit project ‘Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT)’ will run from October 28 between Dera Gujran to Anarkali in Lahore.

In this regard, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar presided over a meeting to review the OLMT project and testing phase of the Metro trains. Buzdar was told that the construction work on 13 substations has been completed successfully.

Meanwhile, the meeting decided to conduct a maiden test on the train powered with high-voltage electricity.

Importantly, the media was told by the concerned authorities that the construction work of 11 other substations would be completed by November this year, signaling that the first-ever mass-transit project would be made operational soon after the trial period to run trains powered with electricity.

Buzdar directed the concerned authorities to expedite the remaining work to make OLMT project functional as soon as possible to facilitate the general public.

The chief minister stated that the public would be able to use trains as a new means of transportation in January next year.

CM Buzdar will be the special guest at the occasion.

The Orange Line is an automated rapid transit system in Punjab’s capital Lahore. The line will span 27.1 km (16.8 mi) with 25.4 km (15.8 mi) elevated and 1.72 km (1.1 mi) underground.

The line will be served by 26 stations and is expected to handle 250,000 passenger daily. Though it is frequently mentioned as a part of the wider China Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Orange line is being financed by the Government of Punjab.

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.