LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar Sunday inaugurated the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) at Dera Gujran Depot along with Chinese Consul General Mr Long Ding Bin. 

Provincial Transport Minister Jahanzaib Kachchi, Managing Director Punjab Mass Transit Authority Sabtain Fazal Haleem and C.R. Norinko authorities were also present on this occasion. 

The inaugural ceremony of Lahore Orange Line Metro Train was also held in Beijing which was attended by Authorities of National Development Reforms Commission, C.R. Norinko and top brass Chinese officials. The ceremony was broadcast live through video link. 

The Chief Minister Usman Buzdar unveiled the plaque and prayed. Later, the Chief Minister along with Chinese Consul General formally inaugurated the Orange Line Metro train by pressing a button. 

 This is the first state-of-the-art rail project in Pakistan which has been successfully launched. This project has given new dimension to Pak-China friendship as this project of CPEC is a best example of partnership between Pakistan and China.  

Usman Buzdar while addressing the inaugural ceremony thanked China on the behalf of the people and government of Punjab. “The ties between both countries are six decades-old and have strengthened with the passage of time despite the notable changes on the world landscape. 

Inaugural ceremony also held in Beijing, China  

Undoubtedly, Pak-China friendship is deeper than the sea, sweeter than honey and stronger than steel”, he remarked. 

He said that the CPAC is the height of Pak-China friendship. He maintained that the success of CPEC will start a new era of development and prosperity which will further strengthen the bilateral relations between both the countries. “Under CPEC, Orange Line Metro Train has been inaugurated on Sunday for providing international standard transport facilities to the citizens”, he said, adding that  this project will not only ensure the stabilization in urban development but also become a factor in green GDP.

He said that the PTI government had set a new political tradition by successfully completing the projects of the previous governments and did not let any project become a victimization of political biases. 

He said the projects like Wazirabad Cardiology Institute and new building for the Punjab Assembly are an example of this political maturity. 

He said that by rising above the political hatred, PTI government is also working on the completion of the collapsed projects of previous governments worth Rs 1,115 billion. He said that in order to operate the Orange Line Metro Train project successfully, transparency has been ensured in the tendering of operational and maintenance besides saving the nation’s billions of rupees. He further added that the Punjab government, despite limited resources and economic situation occurred due to Covid-19 virus pandemic, is also giving subsidy of billions of rupees annually to operate the Orange Line Train. 

Usman Buzdar said that on this historic occasion he would also like to pay tribute to the Pak Army and other law enforcement agencies’ support and cooperation for the success of CPEC. 

He said that a number of CPEC projects were being successfully completed due to the sacrifices and day and night hard work of Pak Army and other law enforcement agencies. 

He invited China’s Pakistan-friendly government, businesses organizations and companies to come together in the journey of progress and development. 

He said that there were vast opportunities of investment in Punjab in transport, livestock, agriculture, housing and other sectors. The PTI government will welcome friends from China. He said that this ceremony was a milestone in Pak-China relations. He thanked the entire industrial chain of Chinese urban rail transit and relevant departments for their efforts to complete the project and for introducing the design, manufacturing, construction, operation and maintenance abroad. 

Chinese Consul General Long Ding Bin while addressing the ceremony said that the Punjab government had provided full support for the completion of the Orange Line Metro Train project and its commercial operation was being started from Sunday. 

He congratulated Punjab and the people of Pakistan. He said that this project was a milestone in the friendship between Pakistan and China.