Lahore mass transit Train project soft opening on Aug 14, 2011: 27km long railway track from Gaju Matta to Shahdra
LAHORE (Saturday, July 16, 2011) – The Punjab government on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a Chinese international company, NORINCO, regarding the Lahore mass transit project.
Under the agreement, a 27km long railway track will be laid from Gaju Matta on Ferozpur Road to Shahdra, of which seven kilometers will be underground, says a handout issued here.
Lahore Transport Company chairman Khawaja Ahmad Hasaan and NORINCO vice-president Zhang Shiping signed the document on behalf of the Punjab government and China, respectively.
Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, MPA Mehr Ishtiaq Ahmad, high-ups of the Lahore Transport Company and representatives of NORINCO were also present.
Talking to the media, the chief minister welcomed the agreement for Lahore mass transit project with the Chinese company and said that soft opening of the project would be made on 14th of August. He said it was a unique project. That the Chinese company would not take even a single penny as profit had proved that China was a true and sincere friend of Pakistan, he said, adding that the project would be an invaluable gift by the Chinese government for the people.
He said that Pak-China friendship was higher than Himalayas, deeper than oceans and sweeter than honey. He said that China had stood by Pakistan in every hour of need and helped it wholeheartedly. He said that the agreement also reflected the friendship between the two countries.
He said that NORINCO was a renowned Chinese company which had executed numerous projects of human development and prosperity besides setting up metro systems. He said that thousands of people were benefiting from the mass transit projects executed by the company in Beijing, Shanghai and Tehran.
Shahbaz Sharif said the completion of Lahore mass transit project would not only provide modern transport facilities to the people.
Replying to a question about the possibility of rollback of welfare projects by the future governments, the chief minister said that Daanish schools, Aashiayna housing project, supply of free medicines and mobile health units were such welfare-oriented projects of the Punjab government which no one could rollback and if anyone tried to do so he would be taken to task by the masses.
NORINCO vice-president Zhang Shiping said Pakistan and China were bound together in unswerving ties of friendship and the Lahore mass transit project would usher in a new era of bilateral cooperation between the two countries. He said that the project would reflect Pak-China friendship and the company would not take any profit from the project. He said that a Chinese bank, Exim, would provide loan for the project. He said that he had had talks with the Lahore Transport Company and other departments during the last two weeks and had excellent working relationship with them. He said that Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif had taken personal interest in the project which would result in provision of modern transport facilities to the masses. He said that the project would be completed in four years and the Chinese company would also provide technology to Punjab in this regard. He said that the project, a precious gift from China for the people of Punjab, was being initiated as a result of lengthy negotiations with the dynamic and dignified leadership of Punjab.
Meanwhile, Shahbaz Sharif said on Friday that people belonging to Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Azad Kashmir lived in Karachi and the bloodshed of the innocent people in the city was tarnishing image of the country. Talking to the media during inspection of under-construction flyovers at Kalma Chowk here, the chief minister said Karachi was the gateway of Pakistan as well as the city of lights, therefore the entire nation was praying to restore peace in the city.
Earlier, Communication & Works secretary Maj (r) Azam Salman gave a detailed briefing on the project. The CM inspected various sections of the flyovers and issued instructions regarding its beautification.
Terming the project unique with regard to its speed, standard and transparency, he said the project would open for public on August 14 after its completion in a record period of four and a quarter months. He added modern traveling facilities would become available to the masses after completion of the project.
He said the first flyover would be completed on July 25 whereas the second one would be completed by August 8. He said that groundbreaking of the project of underpasses would be held on August 14, adding that the district government was providing resources for the purpose.
He said that, during his last tenure, Cavalry Flyover project was completed within eight and a half months whereas the project of construction of flyovers at Kalma Chowk would be completed within a record period of only four and a quarter months.