LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday presided over a high-level meeting at the site-office of the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train adjacent to the University of Engineering and Technology and reviewed progress on the project.

On the occasion, the chief minister was given a briefing about progress on the project. Addressing the meeting, the chief minister congratulated the entire team over Supreme Court’s ruling that the Punjab government could carry on the project and said it was result of collective efforts of the team working on the project. He said the project had been delayed for 22 months and added that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was responsible for the delay. He said that people would hold the PTI accountable for this delay. He said that political elements, which created hurdles in the way of this project, would be held accountable by the masses. He lamented that the PTI had given priority to personal interest over public interest. He said the project had been restarted by the grace of God. He said, “Such times come in life, but we have to continue our work with tolerance, patience and persistence. This is time to show something to the nation. You all should burn midnight oil and strive for early completion of the project. You should double and triple your efforts so as to compensate the delay.” He said that success would be achieved if work is done 24 hours a day and every moment is utilised.

The chief minister said that Orange Line Metro Train is a national project. “This initiative shall provide economical, dignified and cheap transport facility to layman,” he said. He said the project would be completed with renewed commitment and passion. He said that directions of the Supreme Court with regard to the project would be fully abided by and a special fund would be set up for protection of historical buildings.

The chief minister said the best alternative traffic plan should be designed in consultation with experts before start of work at GPO Chowk.

Provincial Minister Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan, Spokesman for Punjab government Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan, chief secretary, chairman of P&D, advocate general of Punjab, senior lawyer Shahid Hamid, MD of Punjab Mass Transit Authority, DG of LDA, commissioner of Lahore Division and others attended the meeting.

Earlier, Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had always done the politics of norms.

“We have given priority to the agenda of public service and national development in every tenure and wonderful records have been set in these fields. Unlike the past rulers who were used to make false promises and hollow claims, we have taken practical steps for development of every sector. The genie of loadshedding has been controlled and the world is astonished over the completion of energy projects in a record period of time. We have also fulfilled the promise of relieving the country of the energy crisis and shall move further with the same zeal for the development of the country,” he said.

He expressed these views while talking to members of the assembly who called on him here yesterday. He said that best utilisation of resources has been ensured as resources are a sacred trust of the people. He added that all resources are being utilized for welfare of people. Different steps, including transparent development projects and public welfare schemes, are a self-depicting proof of it, he added. He said that transparency and merit-based policies have been adopted in the province and billions of rupees which have been saved through different measures are being utilized to provide basic facilities to people. The passion, with which loadshedding has been overcome by the government, is being utilized in other sectors.

The chief minister said that PML-N lives in the hearts of the people because of its record of public service and different steps have been taken for the development of the country and added that there is nothing important than service to people. We have always served the masses and shall continue to do so. He said the whole nation should stand united to face the challenges and collective efforts are needed for national development and prosperity.

Those who called on the chief minister were Members of the National Assembly Imtiaz Ahmed and Chaudhry Tufail.