Delays in construction of Lahore’s Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) has escalated its premium cost by 50 per cent as suspension of development work on the mega project has served a Rs11 billion blow to the national exchequer, The News reported.
The estimated premium cost of the project was Rs22 billion, but it has increased to Rs30 billion, reports quoted a Punjab Mass Transit Authority (PMTA) official as saying and added that an additional Rs3 billion has been allocated for the construction of footpaths for the project, escalating the total premium cost to Rs33 billion.
The OLMT has two components. The first component of the project is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) whereas the second one is to be funded by the Punjab government.
The estimated cost of the first component, which includes the civil as well as electrical and mechanical (E&M) works, is unchanged and stands at $1.458 billion. All funding for the CPEC component has been done by the Chinese government; however, the estimated premium cost of the local component, which is to be funded by the Punjab government, has escalated from Rs22 billion to Rs33 billion.
In order to cut the project’s expenditures, the government has slashed some components of the project, such as the 0.4 kilometers long moving walkway from Lahore Railway Station to Metro Bus Station and the Anarkali-MAO passenger transfer section, reports said.
PMTA officials were quoted as claiming that the local component price escalation was not because of any delays in civil or E&M works, but because of court cases, some issues on part of the provincial Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA), Special Protection Unit (SPU) and some other reasons.
They added that 96.5 per cent work on OLMT had been completed and it was on the punch list stage, but they couldn’t give an exact deadline for the inauguration as it “depends on the present government when it decides to complete the remaining part”.
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