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Orange Line Metro project should now be completed in hours,instead of days: CJP

25 August, 2018

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LAHORE: Expressing concern over delay in completion of Lahore’s Orange Line Metro Train project, the chief justice of Pakistan on Friday directed the Punjab chief secretary and other authorities to submit progress reports.

CJP Mian Saqib Nisar observed that residents of Lahore had suffered a lot due to the construction work of the project and that the court could not see them in agony anymore.

“This project should now be completed in hours, instead of days,” he said.

The CJP was heading a three-judge bench seized with a case regarding contracts of mega projects awarded to a group of same companies. Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan were other members of the bench.

Earlier, representatives of the contractor companies told the court that 98 per cent work had been completed at package-I of the project, 65pc at package-II and 90pc at package III and VI.

Representative of the Habib Constructions said that more than 90pc of work assigned to them had been completed and the remaining work, including laying the train track, would be done by a Chinese company.

CJP Nisar expressed wonder when the company’s representative said that two of the last cheques issued by the government (to his company) had been dishonoured by the banks.

The chief engineer of the project told the court that the cheques had been withheld for adjustment of advance payment made to the contractors.

The chief justice directed a provincial law officer to take up the matter with representatives of the new government and sensitise them to the urgency involved in the project. He said the court would not “let any contractor abandon the construction work in any case”.

During the hearing, Justice Bandial observed that the cost of the project would increase if it was further delayed.

CJP Nisar said huge public money was involved in the project which could not be left unattended. He directed the government to resolve monetary issues involving the contractors and also work on a war footing for the approval of revised PC-I of the project.

He also ordered the contractors to submit affidavits about deadline of the completion of the work.

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