LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Chaudhary Parvez Elahi said on Sunday that the Orange Line Metro Train project was a plan conceived only to make money in kickbacks.
Addressing a press conference at his residence, he said the metro train was a bigger fraud than the Nandipur power project. He said the company that had been awarded the contract for the project sold arms.
“This is the biggest anti-employment and anti-environment project. It entails a huge loan. It will burden our future generations with a debt and at the same time rob Lahore of its historical beauty.”
He said during its tenure, the PML-Q had planned a four-lane 97 kilometre-long underground train.
He said the project had been scrapped by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. “He wrote a letter to the Asian Development Bank saying a loan for that project was not needed,” he said.
“Our project would not have affected any building or shop,” he said. “Construction of an underground commercial centre would have created employment opportunities for thousands of people.”
“We had awarded the contract for the mass transit project to Systra which had completed the Eurotunnel and Shanghai metro train projects,” he said.
“Mark up on the loan was 0.25 per cent with a 10-year grace period. The Orange Line project has a three per cent mark up. In our project, first the Green Line would have been constructed and then the Orange Line. Starting the Orange Line instead of the Green Line is like putting the cart in front of the horse,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2016.