LAHORE, July 30: The Punjab government will soon finalise all arrangements in connection with initiating design and civil work about the 27-km (Shahdara to Gajjumata) Lahore Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) project in collaboration with China.

Sources told Dawn on Saturday that a Punjab government's delegation headed by PML-N MPA Mehr Muhammad Ishtiaq was currently in China to discuss various technical issues relating to implementation of the project.

They said the delegation would submit a report to the Punjab government about the talks held with the experts of a Chinese company that was engaged to execute this mega project worth over $1.7 billion. They said Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was expected to formally announce execution of the scheme on Aug 14, the day he would inaugurate the Kalma Chowk flyover project.

“We have also sent a draft about various technical issues of the LRMT project to Chinese experts. The delegation has discussed the draft with the experts in detail and is now in South Korea on various other official assignments,” Khwaja Ahmad Hassan, adviser to chief minister and LTC chairman, told this reporter.

He said the Chinese experts were currently busy preparing initial design of the project in collaboration with the departments concerned in the provincial capital. “As soon as they complete this assignment, the Punjab government plans to launch civil work in this regard,” he added.

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