On Sunday the most significant part of the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project—the making of the Central Station in proximity to General Post office (GPO) on the most famous Mall Road has been started after the huge lag of twenty-two months.

The higher authorities have taken the decision of closing the Mall Road for three months at least until the completion of this section of the metro train.

Shahid Saleem—the contractor for the OLMT-Package-1—from Dera Gujjran to Chaburji said while talking to a local newspaper that the construction work has been initiated after taking in account all the precautionary measures as per the directions of Supreme Court. The construction has been started near the heritage sites which was not starting initially because of the limitations of the litigation.

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He informed that the company has set up supports to provide strength to the infrastructure of the historical site and metal sheets along with green shade clothes have also been put up on the historical buildings for preserving their structure.

He further added that the utility firms like Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA), Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and Lahore Electricity Supply Company (LESCO) have also begun their work for relocating the underground cabling structures and pipelines.

Saleem added that the heavy machinery has also reached the construction site and once the companies complete their relocation task then the construction work of a three-storey underground Central Station would start using the cut and cover method.

He disclosed that WASA has finished the sewerage work in the area owing to that many alternative roads have got big holes that would cause issues in the smooth traffic flow.

Saleem added that initially there was the plan to close the Mall Road from Monday but then the traffic police suggested to the authorities that for preventing severe traffic chaos there was the need to carpet the alternate roads before the major traffic road of the city is closed.

The alternative traffic plan would be the traffic from the Lower Mall would be diverted to Napier Road which would reach the Mall Road after Lahore High Court Chowk. Exactly the same way the traffic from Regal Chowk would be diverted to Fane Road from where then it would go to Lower Mall.

He concluded by adding that it cannot be said definitely that how much time the utility firms would be taking to shift the utilities from this area it all depends on the nature of work which would reveal itself once the site digging starts.

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