LAHORE: Had the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project been allowed to finish on time and not subjected to delays, it would have decreased the traffic burden on roads, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Saturday.“Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Imran Khan Niazi’s team delayed the project. They did not want the people to benefit from an efficient and cheap mass transit system,” he said, while talking to reporters. The $1.6 billion project was launched in May 2014 by Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in collaboration with a Chinese company. The project was set to be the country’s first metro line, but it got embroiled in a legal battle. The deadline for completion of the project was December 25, 2017. It could not be met due to pendency of cases in the superior courts. The Chinese government had also expressed concern over delay in the project, according to a senior Punjab government official.“There is no bigger obligation than serving the public. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) completed record development work whenever it came to power,” he said. CM Shehbaz Sharif said billions of rupees had been spent to provide basic facilities to the people and these projects have provided relief to the people. He said that modern medical machinery had been provided at the DHQs. “This is the part of the mission of the government to provide best health facilities to the people at their doorsteps,” he said.He said that the first phase of the Pakistan Liver and Kidney Transplant Institute had been inaugurated and it was providing free medical treatment to the needy patients. He said the Punjab Education Endowment Fund was helping talented students could continue their educational career and billions of rupees had been provided under this fund.“We are utilising all our capacities and resources for the welfare of the people, but the dharna party has made its job to criticize welfare projects of the government instead of serving the people. The people will not forgive the dharna party for impeding path of progress. Those who criticise public welfare projects of the PML-N government should tell the people about their performance. Politics of allegations has no connection with the public service and the opposition to the Orange Line Metro Train has exposed and proved public enmity of the dharna party,” he said.Inquiry: The body of a 12-year-old boy was found from the fields near PI Link Canal Breach on Burewala’s Multan Road early on Saturday morning. Police said that the child had been murdered after rape, adding that the body had been sent for postmortem.Taking notice of the incident, Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered an inquiry into the incident. The CM also summoned a report from the DPO on the matter.CM Shehbaz also assured that victim’s family of complete cooperation in the case investigation.The boy has been identified as Ali Manzoor, a resident of Azeemabad. His family said that the minor had left his house for tuition two days ago and never returned back home.The police have arrested the prime suspect in the case with the help of victim’s family. A case has been registered and further investigation is under way.Earlier in the day, the body of a seven-year-old boy was found from Kamoke, near Gujranwala. Authorities said that the boy was raped and then murdered. The child was strangulated to death, the authorities added.Published in Daily Times, February 4th 2018.