NAB launches probe into Lahore’s Orange Line Metro Train

  • The anti-corruption watchdog seeks details of tenders of the Rs165 billion project from Lahore Development Authority (LDA)

LAHORE – The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday launched an investigation into the multi-billion Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project.

In a letter written to Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Director General Zahid Zaman, the Lahore Bureau of NAB has sought details of tenders of the mega project along with its other monetary details on immediate basis.

The OMLT project will facilitate 0.25 million commuters, according to the Punjab government, while a distance of 27 kilometres from Darogawala to Thokar Niaz Baig will be covered in merely 45 minutes.

Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif inaugurates Lahore’s Orange Line Metro Train (VIDEO)

With the launch of U-tub girders earlier this month, the construction of 12-kilometre long elevated track for Lahore U-tub girders at Lakhsmi Chowk Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT), from Dera Gujjran to Mecleod Road, has been completed along package I.

The train, with five coaches, an energy-saving air-conditioning system and systems configured to handle unstable voltage, has been produced by CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co, Ltd, China.

The big landmark for the mega project had to suffer prolonged delay because of litigation, barring construction work near heritage sites.

As for the financing of the Orange-Line Metro project is concerned, a major chunk, Rs150 billion of the Rs165 billion project, will be provided by the Chinese government to Punjab under a soft-loan agreement, outside the financial realm of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

In May 2016, the first tranche of the payment totalling around Rs33 billion was released by The Exim Bank of China.

Last month, the anti-corruption watchdog arrested former LDA director general Ahad Cheema, and the chief executive officer of Bismillah Engineering Company, Shahid Siddiqui for their alleged involvement in the Ashiana Housing scam.

Ex-LDA DG Ahad Cheema arrested over Ashiana Housing Scheme allotment scandal

NAB started the investigation of Ashiana scam after the officials of Punjab government ordered to cancel the award of the contract of Ashiana-e-Iqbal to successful bidder Chaudhry Latif and sons, leading to handing over the contract to Lahore Casa Developers (JV) a proxy of Paragon City (Pvt) Limited which resulted in the loss of Rs 193 million approximately.