LAHORE: As the work on the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project is almost complete, the Punjab Mass Transit Authority (PMTA) is all set to re-float the tenders for the scheme’s operation and maintenance contract in the next 15 days. The need to re-float tenders arose after the chief minister, who heads the PMTA, reportedly expressed doubts over the previous process.
“We’re preparing ourselves to restart the tendering process. Within 15 days, we will float new tenders for awarding the contract of the project,” an official source in the authority told Dawn on Monday.
“At present, 97 per cent of the work on the project is complete. And at present our focus is to award the contract as early as possible,” he added.
The PMTA was all set earlier to award the contract to a joint venture of Chinese and South Korean firms after it completed the process related to procurement, bidding and evaluation by the end of May. Under the contract, the shortlisted firms would be responsible for operating and maintaining the Orange Line for 11 years.
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“Earlier, after an exhaustive evaluation process, Chinese and Korean firms’ bid for the contract was found to be reasonable. But the authority didn’t approve it and asked the PMTA to again float the tenders,” the official added.
On the other hand, LDA Director General Muhammad Usman Moazzam said on Monday that more than 95 percent of the work on the project had been completed and the work would be completed by Nov 20.
“The project has been handed over to Chinese contractor CR-NORINCO for carrying out electrical and mechanical works as well as for testing and commissioning of the trains for six months,” he told reporters during his visit to the project sites.
LDA Chief Engineer Mazhar Hussain Khan informed the media that civil work as well as track laying had been completed throughout the 27 kilometers length of the project from Dera Gujjran to Ali Town.
“The track has been constructed at an elevation of 14 meters from ground level while cut and cover section from McLeaod Road to Chouburji was 1.7 kilometers long. A total of 26 stations have been constructed including two stations at GPO Chowk and Anarkali which are underground,” he explained.
According to another official source, since the time is very short, the firm that wins the contract, would have to bring trained drivers for all sets of trains from abroad. “Actually, the firm is required at least six months for hiring and training drivers, testing of the trains, tracks, commissioning etc. So keeping in view the deadline of December’s first week, the firm would have four months or so for all this work. Therefore, it would be required to bring trained drivers for all sets of trains for operation of the project,” he explained.